George Washington University (GWU) rejected student-led demands to cancel a class taught by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas following the court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to an email from GWU’s Provost and Law School Dean.
Over the weekend, GWU students posted a petition calling on the university to remove Thomas’ Law School class. The petition claimed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Ginni Thomas’ alleged role on Jan. 6 makes the justice unfit to teach.
“With the recent Supreme Court decision that has stripped the right to bodily autonomy of people with wombs, and with his explicit intention to further strip the rights of queer people and remove the ability for people to practice safe sex without fear of pregnancy, it is evident that the employment of Clarence Thomas at George Washington University is completely unacceptable,” the petition reads.
“While also factoring in his wife’s part in the attempted coup in January of 2021, Judge Thomas is actively making life unsafe for thousands of students on our campus (not to mention thousands of campuses across the country),” the petition continues.
The petition received nearly 7,500 signatures at the time of publication. Signees argued that Thomas cannot be trusted as a professor as he allegedly believes “his female and queer students should have fewer rights than his straight, male students.” Another signee called the overturning of Roe v. Wade “unconstitutional.”
GWU refused to capitulate to the student’s demands, according to an email from the Law School Dean. (RELATED: George Washington University Retires Colonials Moniker To Be More ‘Inclusive’)
“We also have received requests from some members of the university and external communities that the university terminate its employment of Adjunct Professor and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and cancel the Constitutional Law seminar that he teaches at the Law School,” the email reads.
The email states that many critics of Thomas are angered that he called substantive due process doctrine “legal fiction.” GWU leadership reminded students that Thomas has been a “consistent critic of the Court’s legal philosophy on substantive due process for many years.”
“Because we steadfastly support the robust exchange of ideas and deliberation, and because debate is an essential part of our university’s academic and educational mission to train future leaders who are prepared to address the world’s most urgent problems, the university will neither terminate Justice Thomas’ employment nor cancel his class in response to his legal opinions,” the email concluded.
George Washington University just sent out a letter to all students rejecting calls to fire Clarence Thomas as an adjunct professor, or to cancel his longstanding Constitutional Law Seminar, and broadly defending debate. Good. pic.twitter.com/nSNPVXTmmU
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) June 28, 2022
Payson Thomas, a GWU student, told the Daily Caller that he finds his peers’ calls to remove Thomas “one-sided” and “ridiculous.”
“I understand that some people are upset with the decision reached in recent Supreme Court cases, but if you do not like his views, do not take his class,” Thomas said. “He provides excellent insight as to originalist jurisprudence, which is valuable for students seeking education from GW Law.”
“I am glad to see GW’s response because I think keeping his course is important for free speech and dialogue,” the student concluded.