Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the only prominent black public servant who is unable (and unwilling) to use an accusation of “racism” to shield himself from criticism, will not teach a Constitutional Law Seminar this fall, as was announced in an email addressed to students by Judge Gregory Maggs, who has co-taught the course with Thomas since 2011. Justice Thomas, Maggs wrote, is “unavailable” to co-teach the course in the fall. Now Thomas is no longer listed as a lecturer on GW Law’s course list.
Thomas’ withdrawal from the course certainly appears to be a reaction to a protest petition signed by 11,000 GW students and community members demanding his removal from the university’s faculty in the wake of the Dobbs ruling and Thomas’ controversial concurring opinion. George Washington officials promptly rejected the demand, but Thomas faced likely protests and disruptions to his class if he stayed on.
- Everything seems to point to Thomas deciding, “To hell with it, who needs the aggravation?” I don’t blame him too much, but his decision essentially allows the censors, the cancel-culture practitioners, the anti-academic freedom activists and the anti-free speech mob to triumph again. Every time this happens, our culture’s grip on diverse thought and open discourse becomes a bit more tenuous. Thomas also can be praised for sacrificing his own principles—has any SCOTUS justice had to endure more abuse and harassment than Thomas, or resisted it all so consistently and for so long?—in the interests of his students. Undoubtedly his Constitutional Law classes would be disrupted by chanting (Maybe “Hey hey, ho ho, Clarence Thomas has got to go!”? Morons…), pickets and boycotts. The censorious, closed-minded student have robbed their more mature peers of having the experience of being taught by a sitting SCOTUS justice.
Now watch the mob demand more diversity on the faculty…not viewpoint diversity of course.
- Here’s the quality of ethical analysis being used by the Thomas-cancelers: Recent GW law school graduate Jordan Michel, a former president of the GW Law Student Bar Association, explained,
“There’s agreement among law students that having diverse perspectives is important. But when somebody who’s supposed to be educating us fails to subscribe to or uphold the ethical, legal, moral obligations that we are here trying to abide by, it becomes problematic for us.”
That’s hilarious. Translation: “Having diverse perspectives is important, but not as important as having the same perspectives I do.”
- GW deserves some credit for quickly and unequivocally rejecting student demands to punish Thomas for helping to sink Roe v. Wade, a bad decision for which the best argument against reversal was that it is too late to do what should have been done long ago. The administration rejected the demands immediately, not making any concessions to the students or acknowledging that the school was sympathetic. It also did not include a gratuitous condemnation of Dobbs, other than stating that Thomas doesn’t speak for the university itself.
Is it possible that GW asked the Justice to quietly withdraw on his own to spare the school ongoing strife? I would be disappointed in Thomas if that persuaded him to leave.
- Prof. Turley writes,
At 74, and looking at an upcoming term of major decisions, Thomas hardly needs the aggravation of such protests. However, his departure (even if temporary) is a great loss to students, the law school and free speech. …What is clear is that his departure is likely to fuel additional efforts to isolate and stigmatize those with opposing views.
- But those with opposing views to the increasingly totalitarian-minded Left are already isolated on most campuses. A recent survey conducted by The Harvard Crimson revealed that 82.46% of faculty surveyed identify as “liberal” or “very liberal,” while 16.08% identified as “moderate” and the professors identifying as “conservative” constitute a whopping 1.46% No faculty members regarded themselves as “very conservative,” while the number of faculty proudly declaring themselves as “very liberal” increased by nearly 8% in a single year.
- How can students receive a balanced, diverse, challenging education with such an ideologically skewed faculty?
Easy: they can’t. And that appears to be the idea.
- And, to end on a humorous note, here is the measured analysis of the legally-educated assholes at “Above the Law”:
What a blow for law students hoping to hear which 16th century pamphleteers to select when reverse engineering an opinion to meet the political strategy of the contemporary Republican Party! So many screeds from Goody Hamperswithinfield will now go tragically unread when they might very well have described the Framers’ thoughts on whether comely lasses using contraception must be stoned in the town square before or after the next full moon.
Which all goes to GW’s disgraceful effort to wrap itself in the rhetoric of warmed over academic freedom. There’s nothing about Clarence Thomas that speaks to “the robust exchange of ideas and deliberation.”