Since February, Ilya Shapiro has been on leave from Georgetown following a tweet posted saying Biden’s Supreme Court nominee would be a “lesser black woman” and has now resigned this week ahead of possibly being fired from the Ivy League school.
Shapiro’s tweet in January read: “Objectively best pick for Biden is Sri Srinivasan, who is solid prog & v smart. Even has identity politics benefit of being first Asian (Indian) American. But alas doesn’t fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman. Thank heaven for small favors?”
On February 25, Biden announced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee for the Supreme Court. Jackson was then confirmed in April.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Shapiro wrote that the dean of Georgetown, William Treanor, had previously cleared him of any wrongdoing because he sent the tweet six days before he took up his role at the school.
Shapiro said that following “a four-month investigation into a tweet, the Georgetown University Law Center reinstated me last Thursday.” However, he said that after “full consideration of the report” authored by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action and after “consultation with counsel and trusted advisers,” Shapiro felt it was not possible to remain in his position at the law school.
Treanor said in January that Shapiro’s comments were “appalling.”
Shapiro said the review of his actions set him up for “discipline the next time I transgress progressive orthodoxy. Instead of participating in that slow-motion firing, I’m resigning.”
Shapiro criticized the policy of Georgetown. He said it is not based on the actual content of a tweet such as his but rather “requires consideration of the ‘purpose or effect’ of a respondent’s conduct.” He noted that if “people were offended, or claim to have been, is enough for me to have broken the rules.”
Shapiro pointed out the hypocrisy of the Georgetown policy and actions. He noted disparaging words published regarding Justice Brett Kavanaugh and former President Trump.
He pointed to a post by Professor Carol Christine Fair of the School of Foreign Service during Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation which said, “Look at this chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement. All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.”
In response, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia issued the following statement:
“We protect the right of our community members to exercise their freedom of expression. This does not mean the University endorses the content of their expression.”
He pointed to several posts by Professor Heidi Feldman of the Law Center but highlighted one which was shared after his controversial post.
In April, Feldman tweeted: “We have only one political party in this country, the Democrats. The other group is a combination of a cult and an insurrection-supporting crime syndicate.” She said, “The only ethically and politically responsible stance to take toward the Republican’ party’ is to consistently point out that it is no longer a legitimate participant in U.S. constitutional democracy.”
Shapiro pointed out that such a public opinion could easily create an unwelcoming and hostile educational environment for Republican students at the law school. However, Georgetown has taken no action to address “consideration of the ‘purpose or effect'” as outlined in the school’s policy.
Possibly the most egregious example of the double standard, favoring the left, that Shapiro offered is a series of posts by law professor Josh Chafetz.
Following the leak of the Roe V Wade opinion from the Supreme Court, Chafetz essentially condoned the act of protesting outside the private homes of the Court’s justices. The post drew criticism from the outside, to which Chafetz himself noted that people could “snitch tag” Georgetown and report him for his opinion but noted that “they’re not going to fire me over a tweet you don’t like.”
Folks can snitch tag @GeorgetownLaw all they want (I’m so sorry, public affairs folks!), they’re not going to fire me over a tweet you don’t like.
— Josh Chafetz (@joshchafetz) May 9, 2022
Shapiro points out that the idea of free speech exists at Georgetown, but only for those who adhere to the speech that aligns with a liberal, Democrat set of ideals.
It appears that to maintain his dignity, freedom of speech, and right to a personal opinion on any particular matter, Shapiro has made a wise decision to leave the left-leaning, pro-democrat-focused University.