Justice Clarence Thomas quits teaching at GW law school following petition for removal

After more than a decade of lecturing at George Washington University’s law school, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has announced he is stepping down amid a wave of protests following the Court’s explosive decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Following a Change.org petition brandishing 11,000 signatures that called for the removal of Thomas from George Washington law school, Thomas informed Judge Gregory Maggs of his decision to step down. Judge Maggs, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, was set to co-lead the GW seminar on Constitutional law with Thomas.

“Unfortunately, I am writing with some sad news: Justice Thomas has informed me that he is unavailable to co-teach the seminar this fall,” Maggs told The Hatchet, GW’s University newspaper, on Tuesday.

“I know that this is disappointing,” Maggs, who will now be teaching the class on his own, continued. “I am very sorry.”

Thomas’s name has since been removed as a lecturer on GW Law’s course list.

“The seminar has not been canceled but I will now be the sole instructor,” Maggs said. “For those of you still interested in taking the course, I assure you that we will make the best of the new situation.”

University spokesperson Tim Pierce said, “The students were promptly informed of Justice Thomas’s decision by his co-instructor who will continue to offer the seminar this fall.” He did not say whether GW expects Thomas to eventually return to the university for future seminars or if Thomas’s decision to bail on the class was related to the Roe v. Wade reversal.

Early in July, 50 student leaders, including Student Association senators, members of the SA’s executive cabinet, and student organization leaders fired off a letter to University officials urging them to “rethink” their decision to keep Thomas on as a member of the law school’s faculty. In it, the activists argued that Thomas violated the University’s rules against discrimination based on “protected characteristics” such as race, gender, and sexual orientation by attempting to “strip individuals with uteruses of the right to medicine and queer individuals their right to legally exist.”

Of course, neither Thomas nor any Supreme Court justice has attempted to do any such thing, but that didn’t deter the woke mob from proclaiming that Thomas’s lectures contribute to discrimination.

“Academic freedom means to learn freely and fairly — absent of discrimination,” the letter stated.

According to the Change.org petition, which goes out of its way to avoid the word “woman,” employing Thomas at GWU is “completely unacceptable.”

“With the recent Supreme Court decision that has stripped the right to bodily autonomy of people with wombs, and with his explicit intention to further strip the rights of queer people and remove the ability for people to practice save sex without fear of pregnancy, it is evident that the employment of Clarence Thomas at George Washington University is completely unacceptable,” the petition states. “While also factoring in his wife’s part in the attempted coup in January of 2021, Judge Thomas is actively making life unsafe for thousands of students on our campus (not to mention thousands of campuses across the country).”

“Make your voice heard and help us kick Clarence Thomas out of Foggy Bottom,” it concludes.


Nearly 11,500 individuals signed this position, though as The Washington Post reports, only around 1,700 people actually attend the law school.

While GWU leaders stated that Thomas’s opinions do not reflect those of George Washington University or those of the law school, they did state on June 28 that they “steadfastly support the robust exchange of ideas and deliberation” and confirmed that “the university will neither terminate Justice Thomas’ employment nor cancel his class in response to legal opinions.”

So, in essence, by announcing his departure from George Washington after 11 years, Justice Thomas essentially canceled himself and, according to GWU law professor Jonathan Turley, that’s “deeply concerning.”

“Justice Thomas has taught this course for many years and our students have benefited greatly from his insights and his experiences,” Turley told The Post in an email. “He is known as someone who enjoys interaction with students and has often shown a great deal of interest in their careers. This is a tremendous loss for our school.”


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