George Washington University has rejected demands from some students to fire Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over his opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, returning the issue of abortion to the states.
The university released a statement regarding the students’ demands on Tuesday, specifically addressing the pressure from students to terminate Thomas as an adjunct professor.
“Since the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, we have heard from members of our community who have expressed feelings of deep disagreement with this decision,” the statement read.
“Justice Thomas has been a consistent critic of the Court’s legal philosophy on substantive due process for many years,” the statement continued. “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 urgently problems, the university will neither terminate Justice Thomas’ employment nor cancel his class in response to his legal opinions.”
The statement went on to teach the students a lesson about the concept of free speech, something that most American universities have mostly done away with in favor of creating “safe spaces” for their students.
“[I]t is not the proper role of the University attempt to shield individuals within or outside the University from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive,” the statement 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
This decision from George Washington University is surprising considering the intense backlash from the left towards the Supreme Court following the Dobbs decision. Protests, many of which turned violent, erupted across the country following the ruling that returned the issue of abortion to the states, as many red states have already begun to ban or severely restrict the procedure. It is shocking that the university did not fear a similar backlash from their decision to stand by Thomas, who is considered to be the most conservative justice on the court.