Georgetown Law says it sent Ilya Shapiro on leave just a day before he was due to go to college.
A black rights sorority called for Shapiro’s resignation after he criticized President Biden for committing to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court.
Shapiro said a university investigation would “justify” him.
Georgetown Law School has placed Ilya Shapiro, a new director of a research institute, on administrative leave after a series of deleted tweets about President Joe Biden nominating a “lesser black woman” to the Supreme Court in lieu of other potential nominees because of the president’s promise make a historical selection.
“Ilya Shapiro’s tweets are at odds with the work we do here every day to build inclusion, belonging and respect for diversity,” Georgetown Law School Dean William Treanor wrote in a note to the law school, according to Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern.
Treanor said Shapiro will remain on leave and off campus until an investigation into whether he has violated university policies and “expectations of professional conduct” is completed. InsideHigherEd reported that the Georgetown Black Law Students Association, among others, had previously called for the termination of Shapiro.
Shapiro, who was previously a top official at the libertarian Cato Institute, suggested Biden should consider Judge Sri Srinivasan, who is chief justice of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, for the impending Supreme Court vacancy. Like other commentators, Shapiro suggested that Biden’s public commitment to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court would lead him to ignore other candidates.
“Even identity politics has the advantage of being the first Asian (Indian) American. But unfortunately it doesn’t fit into the newest intersectionality hierarchy, so we end up with a lesser black woman. Thank God for small favors?” Shapiro wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
Since deleting his tweets, Shapiro has apologized for his ‘poor choice of words’. He reiterated his belief that “the use of identity politics in electing Supreme Court justices discredits a vital institution.”
“I am optimistic that Georgetown’s investigation will be fair, impartial and professional, although there is not much to investigate,” Shapiro said in a statement: about the law school action posted on Twitter. He added that he expected the investigation to “justify” him.
The law faculty previously announced that Shapiro would begin Tuesday as executive director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit organization that focuses on student and faculty rights, strongly condemned Georgetown’s decision, saying there was nothing to investigate.
Georgetown’s embarrassing capitulation contradicts the tenets of liberal education and cannot be met with its promise to provide ‘all members’ of its community ‘the widest possible leeway to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn. ‘, even if others find it ‘offensive, unwise, immoral, or ill-conceived’” the organization said in a statement.
It’s worth pointing out that President Reagan’s campaign promise to name a woman in his first Supreme Court appointments bears many striking similarities to what Biden has said and to some of the opposition he now faces.
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