New Georgetown law professor sparks outrage after saying Biden will pick ‘lesser Black woman’ for SCOTUS

While campaigning in 2020, Biden vowed to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

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A Georgetown, constitutional-law expert sparked outrage on Twitter with a series of pearl-clutching posts about President Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman for the Supreme Court. 

Ilya Shapiro, the incoming executive director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, said in a series of now-deleted tweets that Biden would nominate a “lesser Black woman” to join the Supreme Court, instead of a more qualified man, Insider reports.

Ilya Shapiro
Ilya Shapiro (Credit: Facebook)

“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,” Shapiro wrote on Wednesday, amid news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer is set to retire. “But alas doesn’t fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman,” Shapiro continued.

In a follow-up tweet, Shapiro noted that Biden’s Black female nominee “will always have an asterisk attached. Fitting that the Court takes up affirmative action next term.”

While campaigning in 2020, Biden vowed to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

“We are putting together a list of a group of African American women who are qualified and have the experience to be in the court,” Biden said during the 2020 conference, as reported by CNBC. “I am not going to release that until we go further down the line of vetting them.”

On Thursday, the president reiterated that he will name a Black woman as Breyer’s successor.

“I’ve made no decisions except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court,” said Biden.

Meanwhile, Shapiro is being accused of racism and sexism for his SCOTUS tweets. As noted by The Washington Post, he made similar comments following Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the high court in 2009. 

“In picking Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has confirmed that identity politics matter to him more than merit,” he wrote in a CNN column, arguing that she was only considered because she is Hispanic.

Shapiro, who has also been tapped as a senior lecturer at Georgetown Law, apologized on Thursday amid the outrage over posts.  “I apologize. I meant no offense, but it was an inartful tweet. I have taken it down,” he tweeted.

Shapiro deleted his original tweets, but savvy Twitter users posted screenshots. 

A Georgetown Law spokesperson told Insider they were “unable to comment on personnel matters,” when contacted by the outlet for a comment on the controversy.

A statement from Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor criticized Shapiro’s tweets, saying: “The tweets’ suggestion that the best Supreme Court nominee could not be a Black woman and their use of demeaning language are appalling,” Treanor said.

“The tweets are at odds with everything we stand for at Georgetown Law and are damaging to the culture of equity and inclusion that Georgetown Law is building every day.”

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