Georgetown law students say controversy about Elijah Shapiro being “treated terribly” by the school, is a “disgrace”

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Georgetown Law Center students studied the resignation of former lecturer Elijah Shapiro, who delivered his notice Monday after what he called a “spurious investigation” in his controversial tweet about President Biden’s promise to nominate a black woman for the Supreme Court.

Georgetown has put Shapiro on leave after a backlash over a tweet in which he lamented that Biden would choose an “inferior black woman” over his preferred choice, the Obama-appointed judge, Sri Srinivasan. Shapiro apologized and admitted that the “rude” comment could have been better expressed; Biden went on to nominate Kitangi Brown Jackson, fulfilling his promise to choose a black woman for the Supreme Court.

However, Georgetown University’s law center dean, William Trainor, said the school would investigate whether Shapiro violated “anti-discrimination” policies, adding in a letter to students that Shapiro used “degrading language.” Shapiro waited months for his fate before being acquitted of what he described in his resignation letter as “jurisdiction”, as he was not an official employee at the time of the tweet.

By the time the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) finished its investigation and brought Shapiro back into his position, the lecturer decided he already had enough. In his letter to Dean William M. Trainor, he said that his stay in the school “would be unacceptable”.

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Travis Nix, who is entering his third year at Georgetown Law, called the dust “disgraceful” and defended Shapiro.

“I thought everyone knew what he was trying to say in his original tweet,” Nicks told Fox News Digital. “He was trying to say that the president of the Capital Court of Appeals was more qualified. He said it informally, which he said, and he immediately apologized. I think that is consistent with the Jesuit values ​​of Georgetown, that when we do something wrong, that we ask for forgiveness. And that he did. Right away, and most of the students at Georgetown University and management didn’t give him that blessing and immediately called him a racist, when I think it’s very clear what he was trying to say in that tweet, and he phrased it very poorly.”

Prospective students walk around the Georgetown University campus, on July 10, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
((AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File))

Shapiro called the IDEAA investigation “spurious” in his resignation letter. Nicks shared those sentiments.

“I mean, it was totally ridiculous,” he said. It took four months for a 180-character tweet.

Rising sophomore Timothy Harper said the lengthy investigation into Shapiro’s tweet “wasn’t a good look” for the institution.

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“From a practical point of view, I think very well, in that they were able to calm the nerves of students who were upset, and then push it away that it wasn’t a huge problem when, or most of the students are off campus,” Harper told Fox News Digital. “From the point of view of honesty, I think it’s not a good look for the school, just in terms of the fact that it basically seems that if enough students get upset with you because of something you said, the school treats you like a second-rate faculty.”

While Knicks and Harper lean to the right, center-left sophomore Rafael Nunez said Trainor was in a tough spot and likely “didn’t want to fire” Shapiro. But, as an institution, Nunez said the overall situation was “terribly handled”.

The Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC

The Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

Nix appeared specifically to the administration because it “did nothing” in response to the behavior of some students; Left-leaning students in February staged sit-ins and put forward widespread demands that did not stop with Shapiro’s expulsion.

“Oh, it was honestly a shame the way they handled that,” Nicks added. “The dean’s immediate reaction was to call his tweet racist. Then extremist groups of students started picketing and demanding everything from free pizza as a way of compensation and a place to cry. And the deans did nothing to respond.”

In a tweet in which he submitted his letter of resignation, Shapiro stated that Georgetown University no longer values ​​freedom of speech, an announcement that made some students hesitate.

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“I think that — I hope that Georgetown still values ​​freedom of speech, it’s a pity or a very bad thing, whether they do,” Nicks said of the administration. “I think they pick and choose.”

“The administration, this is a grim disgrace to the administration for the way it has handled this,” Nicks said. “And they could have made a very strong commitment to freedom of speech, saying that Elijah was not violating – because of our policy on freedom of speech that we hold dear to us, we are going to bring back Elijah. .

Nunez said he disputed Shapiro’s initial tweet, but said he disagreed with the calls to give him the boot.

“I thought it was an infringement of the right to freedom of expression, because if he was a professor [can’t]]Say something he thinks or something he thinks is true to the students or to the world, and I think it’s, you know, what do we do as a legal institution? “

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivers remarks during a debate hosted by Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., September 12, 2019.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivers remarks during a debate hosted by Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., September 12, 2019.
(Reuters/Sarah Selbiger.)

While Nunez said he wished Georgetown had “more” professors like Shapiro, circumstances did not bode well for his future at the school. Shapiro himself noted in his resignation letter that the IDEAA indicated that if he made another controversial comment as an official, he could create a “hostile environment.”

“I wish we had more professors like Mr. Shapiro at Georgetown,” Nunez said. “We don’t have much. But, you know, he could have established the reasons for his dismissal later, because now he knows that his freedom of expression is not protected as an employee.”

“So he said he didn’t want to be in an institution where he felt like he was walking on eggshells, where he feels like he can’t say what he really thinks, especially in a place… where freedom of speech is so important, like in law school, you’re studying Future generations of lawyers,” Nunez later added. “So I totally agree with him, as I wish he’d stayed, I’m sad he’s gone.”

Shapiro became outspoken with Fox News Digital shortly after handling his resignation, saying that the corporation was a “den of snakes.”

“What I’ve learned is that in the long or medium term, it just isn’t possible,” he said of working at Georgetown. “If my tweet didn’t happen, then something happened [else] By commenting on the affirmative action of the Supreme Court in the fall, something was going to happen. “It’s a den of snakes,” he said. “It’s such an unforgiving place that I see now that it wouldn’t have worked, and that’s too bad.”

Shapiro said he had some concrete hiring plans that he didn’t have the freedom to discuss but was looking forward to catching his breath and taking time off. He also said he would not recommend Georgetown to students who might break the progressive orthodoxy.

“I am sad that it all ended this way,” he said, adding, “I hope to speak up now, by submitting a very detailed and powerful resignation later … which in some way will serve as a deterrent and give to Georgetown and other institutions.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital on Monday, a Georgetown spokesperson did not directly address Shapiro’s speech but defended its investigation.


“Georgetown urges members of our community to engage in strong, respectful dialogue. Our Speech and Expression Policy promotes inquiry, deliberation, and free and open discussion and does not prohibit speech based on the person presenting ideas or the content of those ideas, even when those ideas may be challenging or exciting,” the speaker said. controversial or rejected. “While we protect speech and expression, we work to promote civil discourse and respect. In reviewing Mr. Shapiro’s conduct, the university followed the regular procedures of law center staff members.”

David Rutz of Fox News contributed to this report.

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