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Libertarian law professor placed on leave by Georgetown following tweets about Biden SCOTUS nomineee

Ilya Shapiro had not yet begun his new gig at Georgetown Law School before being placed on leave.

Published: February 1, 2022 9:56am

Updated: February 1, 2022 12:37pm

A recently hired executive director and senior lecturer at Georgetown University Law School was placed on administrative leave prior to the official start of his position on account of a tweet he posted about President Biden's plans to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court.

Following the announcement of Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement, Shapiro in a (since deleted) tweet wrote: "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?"

Sri Srinivasan, who is Indian, serves as the chief judge on the District of Columbia's Court of Appeals.

The backlash against Shapiro's tweet was swift, and he apologized on Friday for his clumsy choice of words. "A person's dignity and worth simply do not, and should not, depend on race, gender, or any other immutable characteristic," he wrote. "While it's important that a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds be respected in the judiciary, so blatantly using identity politics in choosing Supreme Court justices is discrediting to a vital institution."

The dean of the university's law school says the school is currently undertaking an investigation into whether Shapiro's tweet violated the school's policies on professional conduct and anti-harassment. On Monday, Shapiro — a prominent libertarian — wrote that he is "optimistic" that the school's investigation will be "fair, impartial, and professional."

He added that he expects "to be vindicated" and is looking forward to "joining my new colleagues in short order."

The university's Black Law Students Association is demanding that Shapiro's offer be rescinded. "Shapiro's racist rhetoric and continued association with the University sends the visceral message that even if black women attend the best law schools, hold the highest clerkships, and serve on the most prestigious courts, they are still not good enough," wrote the group.

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