Georgetown Law Center Finally Reinstated Ilya Shapiro. Big Whoop! [Corrected]

Yesterday, after a 122-day punitive investigation into a 45-word tweet, Georgetown University Law Center finally reinstated Ilya Shapiro as the senior lecturer and executive director for the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. It should not take a four-month investigation to reinstate a faculty member for clearly-protected political expression, even had his controversial tweet not been self-evidently true, which it was. But that’s Georgetown for you.
Way back in January, Ethics Alarms first reported on this embarrassment to my law school alma mater and former employer. Following President Biden’s woke-pandering pledge to appoint a black woman to fill a looming vacancy on the Supreme Court, Shapiro issued a sharp tweet opining that restricting the choice of justices by race and gender was not the best way to identify the most qualified or experienced jurist. For this he was called a racist by the Law Center’s dean, and suspended. I followed the episode (with disgust) in several posts: exploring the unethical conduct of Dean Treanor, regarding a letter of protest signed by many law school professors (but none from GULC); on the alumni and student protest led by Luke Bunting; and cheering Federal Judge Ho’s support for Shapiro in an address at the law school.
Wrote the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which has advocated on behalf of Shapiro and his rights to freedom of expression and academic freedom since this fiasco for GULC began,
“This is a welcome result, but such investigations cast a harsh chilling effect on all faculty, threatening the open exchange of ideas Georgetown unambiguously promises to protect….Faculty, students, alumni, and the public must now ask whether Georgetown’s free speech promises mean anything at all….”
I disagree: they don’t have to ask. Res ipsa loquitur: the episode speaks for itself. The answer is obviously “No.” This mess helped earn the institution a spot on FIRE’s 2022 Worst Colleges for Free Speech list, and it was well deserved.
Shapiro tweeted out his relief yesterday, but he should be resigning. What a ridiculous position: head of a “center for the Constitution” for a law school that doesn’t respect open discourse and free speech.

14 thoughts on “Georgetown Law Center Finally Reinstated Ilya Shapiro. Big Whoop! [Corrected]

  1. When are they going to reinstate that adjunct professor who had the temerity to express her concern about the consistent under performance of her students of color?

  2. The “Way back in January” paragraph is repeated twice.

    And I’m not sure I agree that Shapiro should resign; at least not right away. That would give the woke what they wanted. Instead they wasted 122 days on resources and have nothing to show for it, so I call that a win for the ethical side.

  3. Besides the stupidity of all of this, the content of his tweets were still pretty woke; they just weren’t woke enough.
    He chose who he thought was the most qualified “progressive,” so his entire judicial philosophy is wrong-headed from the start.

    I mean, did he mean that a minority candidate should be chosen and then pick the “most qualified minority,” or, did he mean that the candidate he mentioned in the tweet is the most qualified and just happens to be a minority, so the minority part is a plus?

    His poll at the end of his tweet thread was pretty spot on though. And his general point about the asterisk attached is right as well. Brown Jackson, Kagan, and Sotomayor would not have made it to the court if we didn’t have an entire political party staking its entire existence on identity politics.

    Deep down, they have to know all of this. If I was in their shoes, I would always suspect I was nominated for my gender, race, or some sort of partisan posturing. I guess if you are woke enough though, you may think your are entitled to a high position on the court, even if your merits are lacking.

    • While you may be correct, they may conceivably suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect. Biden may also suffer from this, or he may just be an unprincipled idiot, or both take your pick.

      This phenomenon is explained at this link and an excerpt is reproduced below.

      “The Dunning-Kruger effect is a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are. Essentially, low ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognize their own incompetence. The combination of poor self-awareness and low cognitive ability leads them to overestimate their own capabilities.”

  4. I can’t help but worry that bias has completely melted people’s brains, and Ilya is suffering because the woke are confusing him with Ben Shapiro….

  5. I hate to blame the repeat of the first two paragraphs, now fixed, on WordPress, but I’m blaming WordPress. The software has been funk for weeks,, making me highlight text three times to bold it or put it in italics, blocking me from starting new paragraphs, and in the case, misplacing jumps in the post, which then have to be copied and moved because WP won’t delete them.

    Bear with me….

  6. Shapiro tweeted out his relief yesterday, but he should be resigning. What a ridiculous position: head of a “center for the Constitution” for a law school that doesn’t respect open discourse and free speech.

    He resigned today.

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