State supreme court judge resigns from university job after anti-conservative backlash

Caleb Stegall, a justice on the Kansas Supreme Court, just resigned from his teaching position at the University of Kansas School of Law, the Daily Caller reports. 

Stegall’s resignation follows an incident that occurred on campus involving the school’s Federalist Society chapter.

For those unfamiliar with the Federalist Society, it, in brief, is a conservative group that advocates for a conservative approach to the law. The other side of the coin, of course, is that, in doing so, it takes opposition to the liberal approach, which has become all too widespread.

More information on the Federalist Society can be found here.

What happened?

The Federalist Society recently sought to host an event that featured Jordan Lorence, the director of strategic engagement for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

ADF has faced a lot of criticism, particularly for its stance on LGBTQ issues.

The group, for example, doesn’t hide the fact that it “believes that marriage is the union of one man and one woman” or the fact that it believes “God created man and woman as complementary equals and that sex is binary and biologically determined.”

Accordingly, liberal students and faculty members at the University of Kansas School of Law weren’t too happy with having Lorence on campus.

Some members of the school’s faculty responded by pressuring the Federalist Society to cancel the event.

Stegall’s resignation

It appears that this incident is what led Stegall to resign from his teaching position at the school. He tendered his resignation in a letter that he sent to the school’s dean on Nov. 25.

He wrote:

In recent years, I have sensed a dampening of the spirit of open inquiry I have so loved and benefited from at KU Law. A spirit that – going all the way back to my days as a law student – always existed within Green hall. But events this fall have brought an unwelcom calirty to what before what only a vague and foreboding feeling.

“As a result,” Stegall adds, “I will not be renewing my teaching relationship with KU Law next fall.”

Stegall, in the six-page letter, went into great detail about the various issue involved here. And, one theme that he kept emphasizing was the importance of having open debate featuring differing opinions.

Stegall concludes:

In my view, KU Law owes its students (all of them, not just the Federalist Society chapter) and the future of the rule of the law in Kansas better. And it is possible to correct course. But until that time, I can’t continue to provide tactic support to the current direction through my teaching affiliation with KU Law. Not when that direction so clearly threatens the basic pillars of our profession— and not when the duty to ensure the great conversation continues is so clearly ours to shoulder.