Justice Clarence Thomas Won’t Teach at George Washington University Law School in the Fall — Will He Return?

Leftists signed a petition in June demanding that the George Washington University law school provost fire U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence from his adjunct professor position co-teaching a constitutional law seminar for creating an “unsafe environment” on campus.

Justice Thomas wrote the high court’s majority opinion upholding gun rights, voted with the majority to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and wrote a concurring opinion in the same case comparing Roe‘s bad law with cases that legalized homosexual “marriage” and contraception.

Their effort backfired, because the provost, Christopher Bracey, and Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew sent a memo to students rejecting their demand. The two defended academic freedom.

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 opinion.

Just as we affirm our commitment to academic freedom, we affirm the right of all members of our community to voice their opinions and contribute to the critical discussions that are foundational to our academic mission.

That memo represented a strong win against cancel culture.

But Justice Thomas won’t be teaching at George Washington in the fall.

He said he was “unavailable” to co-teach the class this year. Justice Thomas has taught at the school for 11 years. We can speculate that he thought his teaching might be too much of a distraction. Or he really is unavailable.

No doubt the students who enjoyed his lectures or merely support academic freedom are disappointed. Tahmineh Dehbozorgi is one of them. The Campus Reform reporter and George Washington law student appeared on Fox News to discuss the matter.

Dehbozorgi said that the law school is “extremely privileged,” being the only one that had a Supreme Court justice teaching there. Other schools have cancelled professors, she said, but it’s the first time a petition of undergrad students of “no affiliation” have called to remove a high court justice because of his concurring opinion. Dehbozorgi added that the petition had nothing to do with the law school community, Justice Thomas’s teaching style, or his popularity among law students.

In another Fox News appearance, Dehbozorgi weighed in on Justice Thomas’s decision not to teach in the fall. She said that his class is extremely popular, and a lot of students are upset about it, but added that professors take time off all the time.

“Justice Thomas is still listed as a faculty member on the GW website,” she said, “and the seminar will continue.”

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