Ilya Shapiro is officially out at the Georgetown University Law Center. Shapiro announced his resignation Monday, after he was cleared in an investigation into a controversial tweet.
Shapiro was suspended in February, days after he tweeted that President Biden’s next pick for the Supreme Court would likely be a “lesser” Black woman because the candidates that Shapiro considered most qualified didn’t “fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy.”
The suspension came before Shapiro even began his role as a senior lecturer and executive director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. Shapiro wrote in The Wall Street Journal that Georgetown cleared him on a technicality—he wasn’t yet an official employee when he made the offensive tweet—but he decided to resign rather than participate in a “slow-motion firing” should he court further controversy.
“After a four-month investigation into a tweet, the Georgetown University Law Center reinstated me last Thursday. But after full consideration of the report I received later that afternoon from the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action, or IDEAA, and on consultation with counsel and trusted advisers, I concluded that remaining in my job was untenable,” he wrote. “Dean William Treanor cleared me on the technicality that I wasn’t an employee when I tweeted, but the IDEAA implicitly repealed Georgetown’s Speech and Expression Policy and set me up for discipline the next time I transgress progressive orthodoxy. Instead of participating in that slow-motion firing, I’m resigning.”
Treanor, the dean of Georgetown Law, posted a statement last week when Shapiro was reinstated, noting the pain his tweet caused the community, particularly Black female students, and promising that Shapiro would “participate in programming on implicit bias, cultural competence, and non-discrimination, which the Law Center is requiring senior staff to attend.”
Treanor added that he also requested that Shapiro “make himself available to meet with student leaders concerned about his ability to treat students fairly.”
Shapiro had faced calls for his termination before he ever started at Georgetown Law. Controversy has also followed him elsewhere; he was shouted down at a scheduled event at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in March, when student protesters prevented him from speaking about Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement this summer.
Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is a Black woman, to replace Breyer, and she was confirmed by the Senate in April.