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Justice Clarence Thomas Will Not Be Teaching George Washington Law School Seminar After All

Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

This piece has been updated to reflect a statement sent to Townhall by George Washington College Republicans. 

On Wednesday afternoonFox News reported that Justice Clarence Thomas will no longer be co-teaching a Constitutional Law Seminar at the George Washington University Law School. The seminar is to take place in the fall semester, and will still be taught by Gregory Maggs, who revealed the news in an email. The news was also confirmed by a university representative. Such a move comes despite how Justice Thomas has co-taught the course since 2011. 


Maggs wrote in part in an email that "Justice Thomas has informed me that he is unavailable to co-teach the seminar this fall." He also wrote that "I am very sorry. The seminar has not been canceled but I will now be the sole instructor. For those of you still interested in taking the course, I assure you that we will make the best of the new situation."

No explanation was given, but there is speculation that it has to do with a petition from students at the university to have him removed, due to his vote in Dobbs v. Jackson, which overturned Roe v. Wade

The GW Hatchet, which had also reported the news, has more about the petition, noting that "Thomas’ withdrawal from the course comes a month after more than 11,000 community members signed a petition demanding his removal from GW, but officials declined to remove him from his role after he voted to overturn Roe v. Wade." Such a report failed to note that the petition failed to reach its goal of 15,000 signatures. 


The petition, as is to be expected from woke college students, contained language such as "people with wombs" and also incorrectly referred to the justice as "Judge Thomas" when charging that "Judge Thomas is actively making life unsafe for thousands of students on our campus (not to mention thousands of campuses across the country)."

So-called "student leaders" who signed onto a letter even went with the bogus line that they support "academic freedom," except that they don't actually do so:

Fifty student leaders penned an open letter last month calling on GW to remove Thomas from teaching after the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Thomas wrote a concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that overturned Roe v. Wade, also calling on the Court to reconsider rulings that protect contraception, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.

“Academic freedom means to learn freely and fairly – absent of discrimination,” the letter reads.

The student newspaper also left out a particularly sensationalized claim from these "leaders," which was that Thomas stated "that it should be legal to strip his queer students of not only their expression but to allow their existence to be criminalized."

In reacting to the news, Professor Jonathan Turley, who also teaches at the law school, shared the article from The GW Hatchet, referring to it as a "huge loss." His tweet suggests that Thomas' old age and the Court's full docket may have something to do with it.


An official statement from the George Washington College Republicans (GWCRs), expressed their disappointment with Justice Thomas' being unavailable, but likewise referenced the justice's "availability."

"GW College Republicans is extremely disappointed and worried by the announcement that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will not be teaching at GW Law in the fall. The university has lost a key figure who provides an invaluable contribution to the wide ideological spectrum that the university strives to promote," the statement read. "We recognize that the current reports indicate Justice Thomas made this decision based on his availability, but the uproar from the student body regarding his presence as faculty - and the incessant hostility shown towards conservative students and beliefs on campus in general - is great cause for alarm and must be addressed by the university. We hope that the university will continue to pursue its mission of academic freedom and ideological diversity with even more fervor in the future."


Such a petition also managed to affect the student government at the university, according to The College Fix. Christian Zidouemba, the president of the George Washington University Student Association, asked members not to sign their official titles when signing onto the petition. Despite a campaign to get him removed, he has remained as president. 

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