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Tipsheet

Ilya Shapiro Is Back at Georgetown

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Months after Georgetown University put conservative Ilya Shapiro on administrative leave over controversial tweets about President Biden’s Supreme Court pick, the legal scholar is back on campus.

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“I’m gratified that I’ll get to do the job for which I was hired more than four months ago,” Shapiro said. “All students in my programs can expect to be accorded the freedom to think and speak freely and to be treated equally: a diversity of ideas will be most welcome.”

Georgetown’s fourth-month investigation concluded that Shapiro, who was hired to be a senior lecturer at the university’s Law Center and executive director of its Center for the Constitution, was not yet an employee when the tweets were written. 

Shapiro took issue with Biden’s pledge to limit the pool of qualified Supreme Court picks by race and sex, believing that Judge Sri Srinivasan, an Indian-American immigrant, was the “objectively best pick” but “alas doesn’t fit into latest intersectional hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman.”

He later apologized for his “poor choice of words, which undermine my message that no one should be discriminated against for his or her gender or skin color.”

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Shapiro said he is relieved his “public nightmare is over.”

What I achieved was a technical victory but one that still shows the value in standing up for free speech in the face of cancellation. That’s so even when that speech is inartful, as I readily admitted was my criticism of President Biden’s decision to limit his Supreme Court pool by race and sex. Although I apologized for my poor phrasing—some advised “never apologize,” but I take pride in clear communication—I stand by my view that Mr. Biden should have considered “all possible nominees,” as 76% of Americans agreed in an ABC News poll, and that the best choice would have been Judge Sri Srinivasan, who is an Indian-American immigrant.

I’m relieved that now I’ll get to do the job for which I was hired in January. I’m confident that even without the jurisdictional technicality, I would’ve prevailed. After all, Georgetown’s Speech and Expression Policy provides that the “University is committed to free and open inquiry, deliberation and debate in all matters, and the untrammeled verbal and nonverbal expression of ideas.” There’s an exception for harassment, of course, but I wasn’t harassing anyone except possibly Mr. Biden. (WSJ)

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Shapiro promised to step back a bit from Twitter and resist the urge to correct those who are wrong on the internet and issue "snarky" responses to the latest controversies du jour. 

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