This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 7, 2022:
When Ilya Shapiro, the chief editor of the Cato Supreme Court Review, was offered a position at the prestigious Georgetown University Law Center, he took it. He served as an executive director and senior lecturer.
He had been on leave since February over a tweet that some found offensive.
When a left-wing blogger at Slate uncovered an “inartful” tweet that Shapiro had made criticizing Biden’s pick for a Supreme Court vacancy, Shapiro never had a chance. The dean of the law school suspended him pending an “investigation” into that tweet and how it likely offended the school’s so-called free speech policy.
After a four-month-long investigation, the school allowed Shapiro to return to his position, but on Monday, he resigned.
His “offending tweets”:
Is Joe Biden a racist and sexist for saying his Supreme Court nominee will be a black woman?
Because Biden said he’d only consider black women for SCOTUS, his nominee will always have an asterisk attached. Fitting that the Court takes up affirmative action next term.
Objectively best pick for Biden is Sri Srinivasan [an Indian-American judge appointed by Barack Obama], who is solid prog[ressive] & v[ery] smart. Even has identity politics benefit for 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?
The suspension and investigation were a sham. Shapiro was clearly a non-conformist conservative and would likely disrupt the ideological monopoly extant at the law school. His tweet gave the school the excuse to rid itself of this potential annoyance.
Shapiro didn’t just pack up and disappear into the night. His letter of resignation to the dean, William Treanor, exposed his and the school’s hypocrisy:
After full consideration of the report [following the four-month investigation] … it has become apparent that my remaining at Georgetown has become untenable.… You’ve made it impossible for me to fulfil the duties of my appointed post.
He defended his tweets, which were twisted into a tool to oust him:
Contrary to your June 2 statement, no reasonable person acting in good faith could construe what I tweeted to be “objectively offensive.”
It’s a complete miscomprehension to read what I said to suggest that “the best Supreme Court nominee could not be a Black woman,” as you did in your very first statement back on January 27, or that I considered all black women to be “lesser than” everyone else.
Although my tweet was inartful, as I’ve readily admitted many times, its meaning that I considered one possible candidate to be best and thus all others to be less qualified is clear.
Only those acting in bad faith to get me fired because of my political beliefs would misconstrue what I said to suggest otherwise.
Shapiro noted that the school only allows freedom of speech for those in agreement with the liberal agenda, and certainly not for a potential disruptor likely to speak his mind and challenge the school’s groupthink:
In 2018, Georgetown protected this tweet from Professor Carol Christine Fair during Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation process: “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.”
When Prof. Fair advocated mass murder and castration based on race and gender, Georgetown did not initiate an investigation, but instead invoked Georgetown’s free-expression policy.
In 2020, Georgetown took no action when law professor Heidi Feldblum tweeted “law professors and law school deans” should “not support applications from our students to clerk for” judges appointed by President Donald Trump.
“To work for such a judge,” Prof. Feldblum continued, “indelibly marks a lawyer as lacking in the character and judgment necessary for the practice of law.”
These comments have the potential to threaten the careers of all of our conservative and libertarian students, or indeed anyone who clerks for duly confirmed Article III judges.
In April of this year — well after my own tweet — Prof. Feldblum 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 went on to reference Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz, and Mitch McConnell and say, “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.”
Were these tweets investigated as violating the school’s policy that “values intellectual diversity, freedom of speech, tolerance, respect [and] good faith”? Noted Shapiro:
All of these tweets were protected under Georgetown’s free-expression policy.
But now they would all merit at least an “investigation” to determine whether they violate the IDEAA’s theory of hostile educational environment that was selectively applied in my case.
Apparently, it’s free speech for thee, not for me.
He ended his resignation letter with this:
In contrast to the Jesuitical values that you’re fond of reciting, this institution no longer stands for tolerance, respect, good faith, self-reflective learning, and generous service to others.
On the GULC website it reads: “Our motto ‘Law is but the means, justice is the end’ sums up the core commitment of Georgetown Law.”
But your and [the committee’s] treatment of me suggests that neither the due process of law nor justice actually prevails.
The incident shines a light, as Jarrett Stepman wrote at The Daily Signal, “on the deep rot in modern academia.”