Video: Hofstra’s Lynne Stewart invitation on Hannity & Colmes

posted at 10:20 am on September 28, 2007 by Bryan

Hofstra University has invited disbarred attorney Lynne Stewart to speak at a legal ethics conference. Stewart, along with two of her assistants, was convicted in 2005 of providing assistance to the terrorists she represented; thus, having her speak on any topic at a university conference on legal ethics is a joke.

Contrary to the whining of Alan Colmes and Temple University’s Mark Lamont Hill, the issue here isn’t free speech at all. As Rabbi Avi Weiss said of the Columbia/Ahmadinejad controversy on Monday, it’s a question of judgment. No one is obligated to give a platform to anyone, but universities seem bent on giving platforms to US enemies like Ahmadinejad on the one hand and criminals like Lynne Stewart on the other. The real question is, is Hofstra wise to invite a lawyer who has been disbarred and convicted of breaching legal ethics by helping terrorists who want to destroy our way of life, to speak on the topic of legal ethics or “representing clients on the edge” as they fashionably state her case? Is there anything wrong with criticizing Hofstra’s decision? To the latter question, Colmes and Hill obviously answer “Yes”: There is something wrong with criticizing Hofstra for this decision. Colmes and Hill essentially promote Lynne Stewart’s free speech at the expense of anyone who wants to criticize the decision by demagoguing it into a free speech issue.

But isn’t criticizing Hofstra’s decision also within the bounds of free speech? So who are Colmes and Hill to judge the judgment of Sean Hannity and Powerline’s Scott Johnson for criticizing Hofstra, if criticism amounts to some kind of clamp on free speech?

Colmes’ and Hill’s framing the entire controversy as a free speech issue is juvenile.


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Colmes’ and Hill’s framing the entire controversy as a free speech issue is juvenile.

And so utterly exasperating. They should have all shut up and let Scott talk.

Death of the Grown-up moment, number 99,999.

Michelle on September 28, 2007 at 10:26 AM

Whiskers should consider herself fortunate she wasn’t executed. Hofstra has brought itself a world of trouble.

JammieWearingFool on September 28, 2007 at 10:28 AM

I’m having a Billy Madison academic decathlon moment here…

“The…uhh…ethics of the legal profession can be summed in three…AAAAAAAGH!”

James on September 28, 2007 at 10:29 AM

You seriously expect Colmes to make anything other than a juvenile argument?

bj1126 on September 28, 2007 at 10:30 AM

I know there are some legal eagles out there, so here’s something I’ve wondered. Why was Stewart not charged with / convicted of treason or sedition?

lan astaslem on September 28, 2007 at 10:38 AM

It is becoming clearer to me day by day that libs are not grown-ups, and they are looking for their ‘Lord of the Flies” moment.IMHO they do not like it when the adults run things.

bbz123 on September 28, 2007 at 10:41 AM

They should have all shut up and let Scott talk.

He sounded more like MeekLine.

JiangxiDad on September 28, 2007 at 10:50 AM

Hill is being disingenuous throughout. He knows that Hofstra is a private institution and has no obligation to provide a podium to a criminal like Stewart. Hofstra wouldn’t even have to tolerate Stewart standing on campus spouting off. It’s private property.

forest on September 28, 2007 at 10:50 AM

Allowing the terrorist loving criminal to speak ( you choose which one) DOES condone their previous actions. It tells our students in universities across the country that no matter how bad and vile and wrong your actions are, you can still get work….. and applause.
Despicable.

shooter on September 28, 2007 at 10:55 AM

Look these future lawyers deserve to learn from Stewart’s mistakes. What better way of learning how “not to get caught” then learning from one who has. These students of law are owed this opportunity. The University would be amiss of their duties if they let this opportunity disappear.

SPIFF1669 on September 28, 2007 at 11:07 AM

Everyday academia at all levels loses more and more credibility, of what it has left, and tries it’s best to ruin our young people and bring down our country. Glad I’m old and won’t live to see our wonderful country turned into something like Mexico or WORSE!

countywolf on September 28, 2007 at 11:14 AM

Whenever I see Mark Lamont Hill on FNC, I feel like I am watching and listening to some sort of automotron… His features are so perfectly formed and his speech just rolls out of his mouth like someone pushed a button somewhere and turned it all on. He also rarely, if ever, blinks while he’s talking. Fortunately it’s his good looks and the steady frequency of his voice modulation that distract me and keep me from actually having to listen to the nonsense he actually puts out there…

D2Boston on September 28, 2007 at 11:26 AM

Alan Colmes is only there to make Hannity look less stupid. Liberals require a mantra – “freedom of speech”, or “racism” — because they cannot argue that putting a convicted felon on an ethics plateform is anything but intellectually indefensable. But then again “ethics” and lawyers who possess ethics are strange concepts to most liberals as well.

jimwesty on September 28, 2007 at 11:32 AM

This confusion between the right to free speech and providing a platform for such speech has irritated me for some time.

aunursa on September 28, 2007 at 11:33 AM

The day Hofstra invites Tom Tancredo or Ann Coulter and allows them to speak, THEN and ONLY THEN will I believe the academe’s claims about their commitment to freedom of speech.

Want an even bigger Litmus Test???

lets see them invite Bibi Netanyahu.

Always Right on September 28, 2007 at 11:35 AM

Colmes’s multi-cult argument was equally retarded. “Shouldn’t we have people who express different views, even if those are extreme?”.

p0s3r on September 28, 2007 at 11:38 AM

99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

Stewart should be eating prison food, not polluting a college podium.

profitsbeard on September 28, 2007 at 11:46 AM

They now are explaining this away as “they are putting her up there as an example of someone who has had ethics problems”. Give me a break. And why is this bit$h not in jail yet.

conservnut on September 28, 2007 at 11:59 AM

I don’t believe it’s a matter of free speech, she collaborated with the enemy. She transported private messages between this terrorist and his supporters. That in it’s own is unethical and illegal. I don’t see now free speech is even an issue here. I’m afraid that if she’s given an open forum to speak publicly, she’ll some how justify her actions and drum up support in what is blatantly an unethical action. Sympathy is something this woman defiantly does not deserve. She should be shunned, disbarred and imprisoned.

KCtheKat on September 28, 2007 at 12:26 PM

So next time we they have a forum on criminals they can invite some of those great possesers of knowledge on death row.
Next time their is a woman’s forum, make sure they invite the serial rapists, they have that “inside” understanding and knowledge.
Once again, they celebrate the person who takes away the freedom, and ignores the victims.

right2bright on September 28, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Giving this lawyer a platform to speak publicly, presumably for money, is akin to supporting terrorism.

desertdweller on September 28, 2007 at 12:38 PM

My take:
No, it is most certainly not a free-speech issue. The real problem here is the absurd notion of a law school inviting a disbarred lawyer, who aided and abetted terrorists who want to kill us, to speak to their young students about ethics!

This is unconscionable to the nth degree! And their claim that they invited her because she was the defense attorney in a “very high profile case” is beyond absurd! With a little (and I mean very little) diligence, they could have found any number of sleezebag defense lawyers out there who did not breach the ethics code.

leepro on September 28, 2007 at 12:40 PM

The ONLY way this is anything positive, is if she comes out with Mea Culpa…

If she says she did wrong, then Yes, its a good thing for these potential lawyers to hear…

If she is there to defend her actions? Different story…

so, based on a lack of knowledge about her intentions, I, as the Jury, is still out.

Romeo13 on September 28, 2007 at 12:49 PM

Traitors should be imprisoned. This one passed notes from a terrorist to his confederates. This fact is not in contest.

Why the FBI and DOJ didn’t lock her up for good is a shame. Her assertions she wasnt part of the terror plot is total baloney. Did she think she was passing love letters?

dogsoldier on September 28, 2007 at 1:39 PM

I know there are some legal eagles out there, so here’s something I’ve wondered. Why was Stewart not charged with / convicted of treason or sedition?
lan astaslem on September 28, 2007 at 10:38 AM

American courts have adopted the liberal definition of “treason” and “sedition.”

For all practical purposes, those crimes no longer exist.

logis on September 28, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Sorry but I could not get myself to watch the video. Colmes makes me sick. I used to mute my TV when he speaks, then I started to change channels. Now I just do not watch the proogram.

SIJ6141 on September 28, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Having Lynne Stewart talk at a seminar on legal ethics is like having Larry Flynt giving a talk about the advantages of “f*cking for chastity.”

Mark Lamont Hill told a little lie, however.

He said he’d invite a Klan member to speak at a conference on “nationalism.” What he didn’t say, is that a revocation would be issued immediately because the far left academics would object to inviting racists to speak.

georgej on September 28, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Sorry but I could not get myself to watch the video. Colmes makes me sick. I used to mute my TV when he speaks, then I started to change channels. Now I just do not watch the proogram.
SIJ6141 on September 28, 2007 at 3:33 PM

This “Fair and Balanced” crap is for the birds. Don’t get me wrong, 30 years ago I would have thanked God for a TV news program that only wasted HALF my time, but Fox is still way behind the curve. It’s like they think there’s still some FAA regulation on the books that won’t let any conservative opinion be uttered if there is no Socialist apparatchik on hand to “correct” it lest the public’s thoughts be hopelessly corrupted.

Why the heck can’t we just have two normal (i.e., conservative) people having a rational discussion? I’d watch that every night. What’s the worst that could happen. Seriously, are there really that many people out there who’ll say, “What? No liberal jackass is interrupting the conversation every ten seconds; turn it and let’s see what’s on CBS.”

logis on September 28, 2007 at 4:08 PM

Mark Lamont Hill portrays Lynn Stewart as the”perfect person to talk about what it means to represent unpopular clients.” Logically speaking this is wrong. She, in fact, is an example of someone who has failed to play by the rules in representing an unpopular client. The only way she should be invited to speak is to review the mistakes she made–which she obviously isn’t going to do.

The judgment of Temple is worse that of than Columbia. I, like many other people, are somewhat interested in the opinions of Ahmadinejad, since he is the president of country at which we may go to war. And anyways he already has a media platform. On the other hand, there is nothing really relevant to us about Lynn Stewart’s lawbreaking, and we should re-enforce the view that her actions are shameful her by not letting her have a platform.

thuja on September 28, 2007 at 4:40 PM

O’Reilly officially jumped the shark by having that idiot Jackson on. What a putz. H&C is very close to doing the same…

JWS on September 28, 2007 at 4:43 PM

Oh, shut up Skeletor. Don’t use words you don’t understand, like “freedom” and “responsibility.”

And “a,” “and,” “the,” and “or,” among others.

Merovign on September 28, 2007 at 5:45 PM

This has nothing to do with free speech! Alan Colmes and Mark Lamont Hill are morons.

SoulGlo on September 28, 2007 at 7:11 PM

It is Alan Colmes’ job to come up with and spout off with the far left version of every issue. The stupidier Colmes’ comments the more Roger Ailes likes it.

slp on September 28, 2007 at 8:43 PM

This has nothing to do with free speech! Alan Colmes and Mark Lamont Hill are morons.
SoulGlo on September 28, 2007 at 7:11 PM

If morons didn’t have a right to free speech, there would be no such thing as television.

The problem is that liberals want the right to claim stupidity as a criminal defense. If we allowed that, there would be no such things as prisons.

logis on September 28, 2007 at 8:48 PM

logis,

Exactly.

Lancer on September 29, 2007 at 8:21 PM

Blatantly stolen from Friday’s “Best of the Web” over at http://www.opinionjournal.com (a M-F daily read for me).

The brochure . . . announces that “Hofstra Law School is an accredited NYS CLE [Continuing Legal Education] provider. Continuing Legal Education credits and scholarships are available.” Yet in the discussion at Legal Ethics Blog, commenter “V. May” points to the New York regulations governing continuing legal education, which declare in one provision, Part 1500.4b (5), that “Continuing legal education courses or programs to be accredited shall comply with the following guidelines”:

The course or program shall not be taught by a disbarred attorney, whether the disbarred attorney is the sole presenter or one of several instructors.

Hope nobody wanted (or expected) any CLE credit’s for paying to go to this… having a disbarred presenter just invalidated those. Which is also I suspect the reason a number of lawyers go to this (think continuing education classes).

But hey, sometimes you have to completely screw over your customers, offend the people paying to go to this, and muck up the rules completely in order to… wait, when is this a good idea?

Lets pretend we didn’t know the rules, and commit fraud against a bunch of lawyers (paying to go, not getting expected CLE’s). … Does anyone see a downside there?

gekkobear on September 30, 2007 at 3:01 AM

I don’t know how you can truely be a proponent of free speech if you don’t allow free speech. Hannity, in this case, is wrong. It doesn’t matter who this woman is, or what she’s done. If a select group of people want to hear her speak, then they should be allowed to hear her. If Hannity doesn’t want to listen, then he doesn’t have to.

The toughest part of freedom of speech is allowing other points of view.

Personally, I think she should be in jail serving time for her conviction. THAT should be the issue, not trying to silence her.

tgillian on September 30, 2007 at 3:36 PM

For a conference called “Lawyering on the Edge”, hearing from someone who was convicted during the course of defending a client would seem useful to a roomful of law students who probably all want to avoid jail during their careers.

dedalus on October 1, 2007 at 12:56 AM

For a conference called “Lawyering on the Edge”, hearing from someone who was convicted during the course of defending a client would seem useful to a roomful of law students who probably all want to avoid jail during their careers.
dedalus on October 1, 2007 at 12:56 AM

Avoiding jail isn’t that complicated: just don’t commit the crime.

Do you think people need a safecracker to come in to tell them how to not rob banks? If somebody needs a class to learn that lesson, he probably shouldn’t be in any school, let alone a law school.

The only reason people would flock to that seminar is if they all wanted to learn how to do the same thing, but NOT GET CAUGHT.

logis on October 1, 2007 at 12:56 PM