Saturday, January 28, 2023

California law students shout down Georgetown scholar, viral video shows

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Ilya Shapiro, a constitutional scholar who recently found himself in hot water over a tweet about President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, was shouted down by law students in San Francisco, videos show.

Shapiro joined a discussion Tuesday afternoon about Justice Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court vacancy at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, but he was interrupted by protesters pounding on desks and chanting “Black lawyers matter.”


Protesters held signs that read, “I am not lesser,” “support Black women,” and “Ketanji Brown Jackson,” referring to Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, the videos showed.

UC Hastings sent a letter to students Wednesday morning condemning the protesters’ behavior, saying it violated the code of conduct.

“The act of silencing a speaker is fundamentally contrary to the values of this school as an institution of higher learning; it is contrary to the pedagogical mission of training students for a profession in which they will prevail through the power of analysis and argument,” the school said in the letter, obtained by Fox News Digital.

Shapiro, who was recently named as executive director and senior lecturer at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, faced widespread criticism in January after he posted what he later admitted was a “poorly worded” tweet regarding Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. 

Shapiro had pushed for Biden to select progressive, Obama-appointed Judge Sri Srinivasan, an Indian American, and he lamented that Biden’s pledge would force him to choose a “lesser black woman.”

Shapiro later deleted the tweet and apologized for his comment.

Ilya Shapiro was recently named as executive director and senior lecturer at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution.
(C-SPAN screenshot)

“A person’s dignity and worth simply do not, and should not, depend on any immutable characteristic,” he wrote. “Those who know me know that I am sincere about these sentiments, and I would be more than happy to meet with any of you who have doubts about the quality of my heart.”  

Shapiro was put on administrative leave on Jan. 31 pending an investigation after hundreds of students signed a letter calling for his firing.

“I’m optimistic that Georgetown’s investigation will be fair, impartial, and professional, though there’s really not much to investigate,” Shapiro tweeted. 


“I’m confident that it will reach the only reasonable conclusion: my Tweet didn’t violate any university rule or policy, and indeed is protected by Georgetown policies on free expression,” Shapiro added. “Accordingly, I expect to be vindicated and look forward to joining my new colleagues in short order.”

Georgetown Law did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.

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