A professor at Georgetown law has faced backlash over now-deleted tweets in which he suggested that President Joe Biden's potential pick for Supreme Court nominee should be based on merit, not race or gender.
On Thursday, following news that Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer was stepping down, Biden announced that he would be nominating a black woman to fill the seat on the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States.
The news sparked debate; some commended the decision, while others claimed it was dangerous to make the call based solely on immutable characteristics.
Among those in the latter camp was Georgetown Law professor Ilya Shapiro. Shapiro, who acts as the executive director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, took to Twitter to voice his concern over Biden's vow.
In a now-deleted tweet, Shapiro suggested that because Biden said he would "only consider a black woman for SCOTUS," whoever he chooses "will always have an asterisk attached." He then went on to claim that in his opinion, the "objectively best pick" would be Sri Srinivasan, who sits on the US Court of Appeals.
Shapiro commended Srinivasan for being a "solid prog[ressive] & v[ery] smart," adding that the Indian-born American jurist "[e]ven has identity politics benefit of being first Asian (Indian) American. But alas doesn't fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy so we'll get [a] lesser black woman."
As the Washington Free Beacon reports, Shapiro's comments sparked outrage from students and administrators at the university. William Treanor, dean of the law school, sent out an email to the entire school saying that Shapiro's views were "at odds with everything" they stand for and were "damaging to the culture of equity and inclusion that Georgetown Law is building every day."
Treanor even went so far as to suggest that Shapiro was claiming "that the best Supreme Court nominee could not be a Black woman."
Students created a petition to Georgetown faculty against Shapiro, which garnered hundreds of signatures, and suggested that the law professor had "expressed bigoted views in this statement, explicitly stating that Black women are a ‘lesser' choice for a Supreme Court nomination."
According to the Free Beacon, Shapiro's position at the university is thought by many students to be in jeopardy as a result.
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