Conservative lecturer Ilya Shapiro resigns from Georgetown Law as tweet probe ends

Conservative lawyer and senior Georgetown University Law School lecturer Ilya Shapiro resigned from his position at the school Monday following the conclusion of an investigation into a social media post he made months ago regarding the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, as The Hill reports.

Shapiro had been on paid leave ever since he posted a now-deleted tweet in which he declared federal judge Sri Srinivasan to be a better choice for the nation’s highest court, objectively speaking, than Jackson, noting that the former “[e]ven has identity politics benefit of being first Asian (Indian) American. But alas doesn’t fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman… .”

The day after he posted those thoughts, Shapiro deleted the tweet and apologized for the “inartful” manner in which he conveyed his opinion, and added, “A person’s dignity and worth simply do not, and should not, depend on race, gender, or any other immutable characteristics” and that Biden’s blatant use of “identity politics in choosing Supreme Court justices is discrediting to a vital institution.”

Unsurprisingly, significant backlash ensued, and Dean William Treanor initiated what ended up being a months-long investigation into whether Shapiro had acted in violation of Georgetown’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, a probe that ultimately found him “not properly subject to discipline” because his tenure at the school had not yet officially begun at the time of the tweet.

Shapiro outlined his reasons for resigning in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, saying, “Dean William Treanor cleared me on the technicality that I wasn’t an employee when I tweeted, but the [Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action] implicitly repealed Georgetown’s Speech and Expression Policy and set me up for discipline the next time I transgress progressive orthodoxy.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.”

Addressing Treanor’s approach directly, Shapiro added, “You told me when we met last week that you wanted me to be successful in my new role and that you will ‘have my back.’ But instead, you’ve painted a target on my back such that I could never do the job I was hired for, advancing the mission of the Center for the Constitution.”

Speaking to the New York Times on the matter, Shapiro further explained that given the circumstances of recent months, resignation was the only real option, saying, “I would have to be constantly walking on eggshells” and that “[a]cademia has become an intolerant place for anyone, not just conservatives but anyone who seeks the truth.”

The conservative scholar also took aim at offices such as Georgetown’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action, similar versions of which are cropping up all across the country, noting, “It is one of the most pernicious parts of recent developments in academia where it’s kind of an Orwellian situation, where in the name of diversity, equity and inclusion, bureaucrats enforce an orthodoxy that stifles intellectual diversity.”

Georgetown’s handling of Shapiro even drew the ire of some students, many of whom are notoriously liberal in their leanings, with second-year matriculant Rafael Nunez declaring that classmates who demanded his firing committed “an infringement on the right to freedom of speech, because if a professor [can’t] say something that he believes…you know, then what are we doing as an institution of law?” Perhaps there is the smallest glimmer of hope for the future of the legal profession after all.