A new Georgetown Law administrator has been placed on administrative leave after a controversial tweet about President Joe Biden’s intent to nominate a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ilya Shapiro, who was brought on to lead the school’s Constitutional Law Center, tweeted his pick for a nominee, saying that person “doesn’t fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy, so we’ll get lesser Black woman.”
He later tweeted an apology, saying, “I meant no offense, but it was an inartful tweet. I have taken it down.”
The Georgetown Black Law Students Association called the tweet “offensive, racist, sexist, and misogynistic” and asked the school to fire Shapiro.
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“The tweets’ suggestion that the best Supreme Court nominee could not be a Black woman and their use of demeaning language are appalling,” Georgetown University said in a statement. “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.”
The school put Shapiro on leave pending investigation into whether he violated school policies.
“Ilya Shapiro’s tweets are antithetical to the work that we do here every day to build inclusion, belonging and respect for diversity,” Dean Bill Treanor wrote in a letter to the law school community.
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“I regret my poor choice of words, which undermined my message that nobody should be discriminated against for his or her skin color,” Shapiro wrote in a statement Friday.
“While it’s important that a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds be represented in the judiciary, so blatantly using identity policies in choosing Supreme Court justices is discrediting to a vital institution,” the statement said.
Shapiro came under fire in 2009 for his comments when Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court. In an op-ed, he wrote, “She would not have even been on the short list if she were not Hispanic.”
Shapiro had been scheduled to start his new position Tuesday.