Ilya Shapiro hasn’t yet started his job as a senior lecturer and executive director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, but students are already calling for his firing after a tweet questioning the qualifications of Black women to serve on the Supreme Court.
The tweet—now deleted—came Wednesday amid news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring and President Joe Biden will nominate a Black woman to replace him on the bench. Shapiro suggested D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan would be the “best pick” but that he “doesn’t fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman.”
In another tweet, Shapiro referenced affirmative action and suggested that because Biden is only considering Black women, “his nominee will always have an asterisk attached” to her name.
Now the Georgetown Black Law Students Association is calling for Shapiro’s termination. “Shapiro’s tweets and apparent prejudice have no place at our university. The revocation of his employment is more than appropriate,” the group tweeted Friday afternoon.
Additionally, William M. Treanor, dean and executive vice president of the Georgetown University Law Center, called out Shapiro’s remarks in a statement emailed to law school students.
“The tweets’ suggestion that the best Supreme Court nominee could not be a Black woman and their use of demeaning language are appalling,” Treanor wrote in a message to the Georgetown community. “The tweets are at odds with everything we stand for at Georgetown Law and are damaging to the culture of equity and inclusion that Georgetown Law is building every day.”
Shapiro, who has since apologized, told Reason magazine that he regretted his wording in those tweets, which he has described as inartful: “I regret my poor choice of words, which undermine my message that no one should be discriminated against for his or her gender or skin color.”
Reason also reported that Shapiro emailed an apology to the Georgetown Law community.