Joe Biden has reaffirmed his campaign promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court following last week’s retirement announcement by Justice Stephen Breyer. Georgetown University announced on Monday that it had placed law professor Ilya Shapiro on administrative leave for his criticism of Biden’s promise.
Georgetown Law Center Dean William Treanor sent an email telling the school community that Shapiro was being placed on administrative leave. At the same time, the Administration investigates whether he violated the school’s “policies and expectations” regarding non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and “professional conduct.” While the investigation was conducted, the Dean said that Shapiro would “not be on campus.”
Several Georgetown law students circulated petitions demanding that Shapiro be fired after posting about Biden’s decision to limit his options for the Supreme Court pick by race and gender considerations. One petition was signed by over 350 people in 24 hours, saying the professor’s views were “antithetical” to the school’s commitment to “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
The Black Law Students Association promoted another petition that directly criticized the Dean’s “barebones” email for responding to Shapiro’s “offensive” statements. The email Treanor sent called Shaprio’s opinions “appalling and demeaning” and said they are “at odds with everything” Georgetown stands for.
Shapiro posted a now-deleted tweet on January 26 that Sri Srinivasan is the “objectively best” choice to replace Justice Breyer. Srinivasan is an Indian-American judge on the US Court of Appeals. Shapiro described him as a “solid progressive” and “very smart.” He said that Srinivasan has the “identity politics benefit” of Asian and Indian Americans. Shapiro went on to say that because he doesn’t fit the White House’s “intersectional hierarchy,” we will end up with a “lesser black woman.” He apologized afterward for his tweets, which he called “poorly drafted.”
Despite the suspension, a Georgetown spokesperson said that the university’s policy “does not prohibit speech” even if the ideas being expressed are “difficult, controversial, or objectionable.”
Georgetown took no action in 2018 against security studies Professor Christine Fair said on Twitter in posts that were deleted and led to her suspension from the platform that supporters of Brett Kavanaugh as a nominee to the Supreme Court “deserve miserable deaths.” It should have its “corpses castrated” and fed to swine.