Days after posting a tweet questioning President Joe Biden’s plans to put a Black woman on the Supreme Court, Georgetown Law’s incoming administrator, Ilya Shapiro, has been placed on administrative leave.
Shapiro, who was set to start his new job on Tuesday, will be on paid leave as the university looks into his comments, which were later pulled off Twitter.
Shapiro’s tweet suggested that Sri Srinivasan, a federal judge of South Asian descent, should be included on the president’s list of nominees.
“But alas doesn’t fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman,” Shapiro wrote in the tweet.
The focus of the university investigation, per a statement from Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor, will focus “into whether [Shapiro] violated our policies and expectations on professional conduct, non-discrimination, and anti-harassment.”
Treanor also called Shapiro’s comments “antithetical” to the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion work.
“Racial stereotypes about individual capabilities and qualifications remain a pernicious force in our society and our profession,” Treanor said. “I am keenly aware that our law school is not exempt.”
In reaction, Shapiro tweeted Monday afternoon that he’s confident the school’s investigation will be fair — “though there’s really not much to investigate,” he said, adding that his tweet was protected by Georgetown’s policies on free expression and that he’ll be vindicated.
That sentiment was echoed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which will represent him in the investigation.
“There is nothing to investigate,” they wrote. “Dean William Treanor has made the wrong decision in authorizing this witch hunt, and every day that it continues is an affront to free speech and fairness at Georgetown.”