Unethical Quote Of The Month: Ethics Villain William Treanor, Georgetown Law Center Dean

I hate to pick on Georgetown’s Dean: I knew three of his predecessors well, was good friends with two of them, and I took a class from a fourth. However, Treanor, the current dean, has been substantially responsible for my estrangement from my legal alma mater (and where I worked for seven years, creating the school’s capital fund and launching its alumni magazine, among other adventures), my boycott of my class reunions, and the current position of my framed diploma, once proudly displayed, now on the floor, front to the wall.

The section from his Dean’s column in the current issue of that aforementioned magazine (GULC eventually dumped the title the original version carried, “Res Ipsa Loquitur”) signals that an unethical course is being plotted by Treanor. A creature of Yale Law School, traditionally the most political and ideologically biased of major U.S. law schools (Treanor transferred there from Harvard Law because Harvard wasn’t liberal enough), the Dean’s column attains pure demagoguery in that passage, the guts of the text.

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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.

Update: Georgetown Law Center’s Unethical Punishment Of The Professor Who Criticized Selecting SCOTUS Judges According To Race And Gender

The update is simple: nothing has changed.

Ethics Alarms first noted the Illya Shapiro debacle here, on January 29 of this year. The incoming newly-appointed executive director for the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies posted a (admittedly badly worded) tweet critical of President Biden’s stated criteria for choosing the replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Breyer, and the Law Center’s wonderfully woke (and unethical) Dean despicably called his tweet racist and suspended him pending the obligatory “investigation.” Here I wrote about a letter of protest to the Dean from various Law Center Alumni (including me). Here Ethics Alarms noted the letter of protest signed by professors from schools all over the country (but none from the Law Center) pointing out that “the substance of the which is that Sri Srinivasan is the most qualified progressive nominee, and that it’s wrong for the President to pass him over because of race and sex, is a position that is most certainly protected by academic freedom principles of “[f]ree inquiry and unconstrained publication of the results of inquiry.”

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Georgetown University Law Center Decides To Teach Systemic Racism Rather Than Law

Well, it looks like this is going to be All-Race Wednesday. Sorry: I wanted it to be “Don’t Say Gay” Wednesday, but I don’t completely control these things. Incidentally, I know everyone is thoroughly sick of the Will Smith matter. However, the cultural implications of what should have been a meaningless blip are significant, and both this morning’s first post the comments to it are worth reading.

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The last time I relied on the Washington Free Beacon, I was hoaxed by an inappropriate “satire” article that, was subsequent events have sadly proved, was too close to reality to signal that it was fake. So I checked this Free Beacon exposé on Georgetown Law Center, my disgraceful alma mater, particularly carefully, hoping it was a bad joke. It isn’t.

Ironically, just yesterday two old friends emailed me about whether I would be attending the class reunion next month, a major one. After reluctantly telling them that I could not, for the many reasons I have discussed here and here, most lately the Dean’s suspension of  professor Ilya Cohen for daring to suggest that limiting a Supreme Court nomination by race and gender was not the best way to ensure the most able jurist would replace Justice Breyer, I started having second thoughts. Was I just being an old poop, one of those alums who are bitter that things aren’t like the old days? Why not just accept it all and party with pals?

Then I saw the report. That graphic above is a slide from a First Year mandatory property course, one of many re-published by the Free Beacon. It reports in part, Continue reading

Ethics Hero (“Socking It To Georgetown University” Div.) #2: Federal Judge James Ho

As a graduate and former employee of Georgetown Law Center (and, though I say it myself, a living legend there), I have found the recent disgraceful episode where conservative scholar Illya Shapiro was suspended by the Dean at GULC for a tweet expressing the view that President Biden’s announced plan to make race and gender his primary criteria for filling Justice Breyer’s soon to be vacant seat on the Supreme Court particularly discouraging. (My JD diploma was already face to the wall for previous embarrassments, however.) I have been particularly disgusted by the failure of the GULC faculty to speak up in support of Shapiro in public, though other academics across the country have done so.

Thus it was with particular pleasure that I learned how Judge James Ho of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, slated to speak at GULC yesterday on “Fair Weather Originalism: Judges, Umpires, and the Fear of Being Booed,” saw the obvious relevance of his topic to Shapiro’s ordeal and shocked his hosts by giving a different lecture than the one announced. He said in part,

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Ethics Hero: Luke Bunting ’22, Editor-in-Chief Of The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy

The battle over the punishment of Illya Shapiro for WrongThink—Imagine, he actually thinks excluding outstanding Supreme Court candidates by using racial and gender discrimination is unwise!—continues.

Luke Bunting, a 3L at Georgetown University Law Center who also edits one its journals, is stepping up where the GULC faculty has failed miserably. Echoing the legal academics and scholars across the country who have signed an open letter protesting the Law Center’s Dean, William Treanor’s effort to ingratiate the school with the censorious Woke and the race-baiting mob, Bunting has authored a similar letter for GULC alumni to sign. It reads,

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Hump Day Ethics Jumps, Bumps And Lumps, 2/2/2022

Nothing like dancing camels to end a perfect day. If only this had been a perfect day…

Meanwhile, I’m so proud! Having told my undergraduate institution that it had so embarrassed me that I would not be attending my BIG reunion this Fall, which I once was looking forward to greatly, it was thrilling to see my law school alma mater, which I also worked for over the next four years after graduation (It liked me! It really liked me!), receive a major honor. Yes, The FIRE named Georgetown University Law Center one of the 10 Worst on its yearly list of educational institutions that do not adequately respect and bolster freedom of speech.

Congratulations, GULC! You’ve worked hard for this the last few years, and the honor is richly deserved.

1. Quit, Whoopi, but let me write your resignation letter. It is being reported that Whoopi Goldberg is furious that she was suspended by ABC for her dumb, ill-considered, offensive but provocative comments about the Holocaust on the dumb, ill-considered, offensive but provocative show “The View.” Her worst statement? I vote for “Well, this is white people doing it to white people. So, this is y’all go fight amongst yourselves.” That was part of her explanation of why the “Final Solution,” in which Hitler’s crazies decided to see the purification of the white race by exterminating “lesser races” like the Semites—just guess what would have happened to the Whoop’s people when Germany took over the U.S. by getting the A-Bomb first!—wasn’t about race. She feels, we are told,“humiliated” at being disciplined  after she followed their advice to apologize. No, no, that’s not what Whoopi should quit over. Charles C.W. Cooke explains it well in “Whoopi Goldberg’s Suspension from The View Is Illiberal and Irrational” at the National Review. Meanwhile, many are asking the unanswerable question, how come Disney, who owns ABC, fired actress Gina Carano when she said on social media—not on TV, not under Disney’s banner, that the repressive political speech climate reminded her of Nazi Germany. The “Mandalorian” star was also dropped by talent agency UTA and Lucasfilms, leading some writers to compare her treatment to the Fifties blacklist. Whoopi got a relatively minor two-week suspension. Double standard there, obviously: Whoopi is a black progressive, Carano is a white conservative. Neither should be punished for an opinion unrelated to their competence at their job. If Whoopi quits, she could do some good by making it clear that it’s in defense of free speech and people being unafraid to speak freely. Continue reading

Ethical Quote Of The Week: Faculty Letter To GULC Dean Treanor In Support Of Illya Shapiro [CORRECTED]

So far, 106 professors from all points on the ideological spectrum have signed a letter to Georgetown Law Center’s Dean Treanor, telling him what should not have to be explained to a Top 20 law school dean: that “academic freedom protects [Illya] Shapiro’s views, regardless of whether we agree with them or not. And debate about the President’s nomination, and about whether race and sex play a proper role in such nominations more generally, would be impoverished—at Georgetown and elsewhere—if this view could not be safely expressed in universities.”

Shapiro, as discussed here, has been suspended (“put on leave pending an investigation”) by Treanor, and if past behavior by Georgetown Law Center is any indication, he is likely to be fired, forced to resign, or to have to humiliate himself by submitting to “sensitivity training” after a public confession of WrongThink.

Here is the letter, which appears to have been coordinated by the Foundation For Individual Rights in Education. Those seeking to add their names to the signatories can email facultyoutreach@thefire.org.

Disgracefully, no member of the GULC faculty has signed the letter to support their colleague—and the principles of freedom of expression and academic freedom at their own institution—as of this writing. Continue reading

It Reveals The Dire State Of U.S. Higher Education Culture That Dean William M. Treanor Of Georgetown University Law Center Isn’t The Most Unethical Law School Administrator Of The Past Year (It’s Close, Though…)

That distinction still has to go to Yale Law School Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Yaseen Eldik and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Ellen Cosgrove, who persecuted, and and threatened a student in this infamous episode last Fall. Their victim is a student, which gives them an edge over Dean Treanor whose target is Ilya Shapiro, GULC’s newly hired director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies and vice-president of the Cato Institute.

Just two days ago, I described Shapiro’s foray into the debate over President Biden’s looming Supreme Court nomination, which will have to be a black woman because race and gender are more important to the Far Left than qualifications, ability and experience in the branch of the government that protects the Constitution, but mostly because Joe promised he would while in Full Pander Mode as he fought for his party’s nomination to oppose President Trump in 2020. Shapiro issued a series of tweets that were crystal clear to anyone reading them rationally and honestly, making his case that Biden should be nominating Justice Breyer’s replacement on the basis of qualifications, ability and experience. A careless choice of words, however—this was Twitter, after all—gave race-baiters and progressive censors an opportunity to pounce, and they did.

Shapiro was accused of being a racist (of course); the law schools black student association demanded he be fired (also of course); and GULC’s ostentatiously woke Dean capitulated to the anti-free speech and anti-academic freedom mob, announcing yesterday to me and other “alumni/ae”, as the marvelous Dean I worked for, the late David McCarthy always called them…

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Stop Making Me Defend President Biden!

At this point, President Biden has no choice, ethically or practically, other than to keep his promise to nominate a black woman to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. By all means, he deserves criticism for making such a promise, but that was done quite a while ago, when he was in full pander mode during the 2020 Democratic Presidential primaries. Breaking a pledge is never ethical, unless conditions have changed sufficiently to make the keeping of the pledge materially different from what was anticipated at the time, or if keeping the promise would be illegal.

It is often forgotten that President Reagan pledged to nominate a woman to the Supreme Court, and many liberal pundits at the time predicted that he would renege on that promise. He didn’t. It was a different kind of pledge than Biden’s however. There was a fairly deep pool of qualified women to choose from particularly if he dipped into the group of qualified female lawyers and academics. The lack of any woman ever sitting on the Court since the 18th Century had become an embarrassment. It wasn’t a matter of making the Court “look like America,” it was whether the Court could credibly look like a gentleman’s club. Continue reading