EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday called on Stanford University to punish the group of law school students responsible for heckling a Trump-appointed judge who was invited to speak at the California college last week.
"It was deeply disturbing to watch the viral video that captured Stanford Law students harassing and insulting Judge Kyle Duncan, a sitting federal circuit judge, who had been invited by the school’s Federalist Society chapter to speak at a school-sanctioned event," Cruz wrote in a letter to top Stanford University officials on Tuesday, obtained by Fox News Digital.
Cruz said their behavior violates the school's campus disruption policy, and that steps should be taken against the students. "Stanford Law School is well within its rights to discipline these students for their behavior, and indeed, I strongly urge the school to do so," Cruz wrote.
A video widely shared on social media shows dozens of Stanford law students loudly interrupting Duncan before he could give his prepared remarks at the event. Associate Dean for diversity, equity and inclusion Tirien Steinbach soon took control of the event and lectured Duncan that he had "done harm" with his work on the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Law School Dean Jenny Martinez apologized to Duncan in a letter sent Saturday.
Cruz is demanding those same school officials go a step further and discipline the students responsible and remove Steinbach, whose actions were "equally audacious."
Cruz said the associate dean "thrust herself into the limelight during the allotted time of the event, stole the microphone for over six minutes, and proceeded to chastise and condescend to Judge Duncan with the aid of her own pre-prepared remarks."
"Far from conducting herself in a manner that students should emulate, Assistant Dean Steinbach’s behavior validated the protestors’ disruptive conduct," the senator wrote. "Given her demonstrated contempt for the federal bench, guests of the school, and your own institution’s policies, I recommend that she is promptly dismissed from her position."
"Some reports detailed how Judge Duncan had to be escorted to his vehicle by United States Marshals after the event. This disgraceful behavior is antithetical to the principles of free speech and open discourse that are essential to the mission of any credible academic institution, let alone a top-tier law school," the senator wrote.
Cruz warned later in his letter that the law students’ actions could have ramifications on their future careers.
"I can only imagine that some judges might be reluctant to offer Stanford Law graduates clerkships in light of the way one of their fellow judges was treated, particularly if the school impliedly blesses such conduct by refusing to discipline the student protestors involved," he wrote.
Duncan’s history of work related to LGBT issues appears to have been students’ main motivation in derailing his appearance.
In 2015, he argued against the legality of same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court. While on the federal bench, Duncan invoked the ire of progressive groups when he refused to use a transgender defendant’s chosen name and pronouns.
Duncan described his recent ordeal at Stanford as a "bizarre therapy session from hell" in comments to the Washington Free Beacon.
Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.