Georgetown University: Calls to Rescind Incoming Lecturer’s Appointment Over Tweets on Successor to Justice Breyer

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Georgetown University

On January 21, 2022, Georgetown University Law Center announced Ilya Shapiro as the Senior Lecturer and Executive Director for the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. On January 26, 2022, in the wake of Justice Breyer’s announcement that he would retire, Shapiro tweeted: “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. But alas doesn’t fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman. Thank heaven for small favors? Because Biden said he’s only consider black women for SCOTUS, his nominee will always have an asterisk attached. Fitting that the Court takes up affirmative action next term.” The tweets drew a condemnation from Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor and calls to rescind Shapiro’s employment contract. FIRE wrote Georgetown’s leadership on January 30, reminding them the university has promised to “all members of the University community” the “broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn,” even when that speech is “thought by some or even most of the community” to be “offensive, unwise, immoral, or ill conceived.” On January 31, Shapiro was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.