Georgetown administrator cleared to work after controversial tweets

The head of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution will be on the job Friday after spending months on paid leave due to controversial tweets.

The investigation into Ilya Shapiro’s tweets ended with him being cleared, with the investigating dean stating Shapiro was not subject to discipline for the tweets made in January because they were before his employment with the school began in February.



The tweets were in response to President Joe Biden’s campaign promise to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

The first one read:

Objectively best pick for Biden is Sri Srinivasan, who is solid prog & v smart. Even has identity politics benefits of being first Asian (Indian) American. But alas doesn’t fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get a lesser black woman. Thank heavens for small favors?”

Another:

Because Biden said he’s only consider black women for SCOTUS, his nominee will always have an asterisk attached. Fitting that the court takes up affirmative action next term.”

After backlash to the tweets, he apologized and removed them, but screen captures of the comments were spread, and an investigation was opened by Georgetown University.

In a statement released Thursday on the Georgetown Law website, William M. Treanor, the school’s dean and executive vice president, said the tweets made by Shapiro have been harmful to many in the Georgetown Law community and beyond.

“I have met with Mr. Shapiro to discuss the tweets, which he had already acknowledged were ‘recklessly framed’ and ‘inartful’ and for which he has apologized,” the statement said. “Mr. Shapiro will also participate in programming on implicit bias, cultural competence, and non-discrimination, which the Law Center is requiring senior staff to attend.”

Shapiro has been asked to make himself available to meet with student leaders concerned about his ability to treat students fairly.

Thursday on Twitter, Shapiro said he is gratified he will be able to get to work as the head of the school’s Center for the Constitution.

“I’m gratified that I’ll get to do the job for which I was hired more than four months ago,” he tweeted. “I look forward to teaching and engaging in a host of activities relating to constitutional education. As befitting a center for the constitution, all students and participants in my programs can expect to be accorded the freedom to think and speak freely and to be treated equally: a diversity of ideas will be most welcome. Let’s get to work!”

Another tweet on being investigated called it “An ex­pe­ri­ence I wouldn’t wish on any­one ex­cept per­haps the in­sti­ga­tors of the Twit­ter mob that launched this tem­pest … I found out who my friends are, even if I would’ve pre­ferred not to have had the need to know.”

Michelle Murillo

Michelle Murillo has been a part of the WTOP family since 2014. She started her career in Central Florida before working in radio in New York City and Philadelphia.

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