Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will remain an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s School of Law, despite criticism over his support of Friday’s ruling that overturned the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision.
An online petition calling for his removal has collected over 6,400 signatures, but on Tuesday, the university said it would continue to employ Thomas and not cancel the constitutional law seminar that he teaches.
In a letter to the campus community on Tuesday, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Christopher Bracey and GW Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew wrote:
“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.”
But the pair did add that both the university and the law school do not share Thomas’ views.
In his concurring opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — which ended constitutional protections for abortion — Thomas also wrote the court should “reconsider” earlier decisions on access to contraception as well as same-sex marriage.
Both Bracey and Matthew ended their letter saying that everyone in the campus community has the right “to voice their opinions and contribute to the critical discussions that are foundational to our academic mission.”