The dean of Georgetown University Law Center described a new faculty member’s tweets questioning the qualifications of President Biden’s potential new Supreme Court pick as “appalling.”
Ilya Shapiro, who served as the head of the conservative think tank Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., starts his new job as executive director and senior lecturer at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution on Feb. 1.
Biden said Thursday that he will announce his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer before the end of February, and that the candidate will be a Black woman.
“Objectively best pick for Biden is Sri Srinivasan, who is solid [progressive] and [very] smart,” Shapiro tweeted. “Even has identity politics benefit of being first Asian (Indian) American. But alas doesn’t fit into last intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman. Thank heaven for small favors?”
In a follow-up tweet, Shapiro wrote, “Because Biden said he’s only consider [sic] black women for SCOTUS, his nominee will always have an asterisk attached. Fitting that the Court takes up affirmative action next term.”
He also offered his followers a poll in which they could vote for whether they believed Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman was racist, sexist, both or neither.
In a letter to the Georgetown law school community reported by Reuters, Dean and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University Law Center Bill Treanor condemned Shapiro’s Twitter thread, writing, “The tweets’ suggestion that the best Supreme Court nominee could not be a Black woman and their use of demeaning language are appalling.”
“The Tweets are at odds with everything we stand for at Georgetown Law and are damaging to the culture of equity and inclusion that Georgetown Law is building every day,” Treanor wrote.
Shapiro later deleted his controversial tweets and apologized. “I meant no offense, but it was an inartful tweet. I have taken it down,” he said.
Neither Shapiro nor Georgetown University immediately responded to a request for comment.
Biden has faced criticism for limiting his Supreme Court justice pick to a Black woman. On Thursday, Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson blasted Biden for making identity politics a factor in his choice for a supreme court justice.
When his campaign was faltering during the 2020 Democratic primary in South Carolina, Biden reportedly told Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., he would publicly promise to appoint a Black woman to the high court in exchange for the House majority whip’s endorsement.