Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pulls out of teaching at George Washington U following backlash
Following student protests, Thomas will no longer teach a constitutional law course he has instructed at the university since 2011.
Following deafening calls from student protesters at George Washington University, Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will no longer teach a constitutional law course he has instructed at the university since 2011.
After Thomas’ integral role in overturning Roe v. Wade, students at the private, Washington D.C.-based school launched an aggressive campaign for his termination. The university stood by the justice. Thomas, however, has decided to pull out of instructing the class.
“Justice Thomas informed GW Law that he is unavailable to co-teach a Constitutional Law Seminar this fall,” a university spokesperson told The Hill in a statement Wednesday. “The students were promptly informed of Justice Thomas’ decision by his co-instructor who will continue to offer the seminar this fall.”
The outlet notes that Thomas is no longer a listed lecturer in the GW Law School course catalog.
As reported last month by theGrio, thousands of people signed a Change.org petition to remove Thomas from his role, asserting, “With the recent Supreme Court decision that has stripped the right to bodily autonomy of people with wombs, and with his explicit intention to further strip the rights of queer people and remove the ability for people to practice safe sex without fear of pregnancy, it is evident that the employment of Clarence Thomas at George Washington University is completely unacceptable.”
“While also factoring in his wife’s part in the attempted coup in January of 2021,” the petition continues, “Judge Thomas is actively making life unsafe for thousands of students on our campus (not to mention thousands of campuses across the country).”
In a campuswide email obtained by CNN at the time, George Washington University Provost Christopher Alan Bracey and Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew cited academic freedom in their notice that Thomas would be retained at the school.
“Justice Thomas has been a consistent critic of the Court’s legal philosophy on substantive due process for many years,” the email said. “Because we steadfastly support the robust exchange of ideas and deliberation, and because debate is an essential part of our university’s academic and educational mission to train future leaders who are prepared to address the world’s most urgent problems, the university will neither terminate Justice Thomas’ employment nor cancel his class in response to his legal opinions.”
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