Supreme Court nominations

Georgetown Law dean blasts new hire for now-deleted tweets on future Biden SCOTUS nominee

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The incoming executive director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution is garnering criticism—by his future employer and others—for tweets on the next U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

The dean of the Georgetown University Law Center, William M. Treanor, blasted new hire Ilya Shapiro for the tweets that have since been taken down, report, Reuters and the Washington Post.

One of Shapiro’s tweets, posted Wednesday, read: “Objectively best pick for Biden is Sri Srinivasan, who is solid prog & v smart. Even has identity politics benefit of being first Asian (Indian) American. But alas doesn’t fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser Black woman. Thank heaven for small favors?”

Srinivasan is chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. President Joe Biden has pledged to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court, a vow that he repeated Thursday during the announcement of Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s retirement.

The Washington Post has details on two other tweets by Shapiro. One said Biden’s nominee “will always have an asterisk attached” because of Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman. “Fitting that the court takes up affirmative action next term,” Shapiro said.

In a third tweet, Shapiro asked whether Biden is racist, sexist, both or neither for pledging to pick a Black female nominee.

Shapiro apologized Thursday morning after a Georgetown Law professor questioned the “lesser Black woman” tweet.

“I apologize,” Shapiro tweeted. “I meant no offense, but it was an inartful tweet. I have taken it down.”

Treanor released this statement to and the Washington Post:

“Ilya Shapiro, who was recently hired to direct one of Georgetown Law’s research institutes, posted a series of tweets on Twitter that he has since deleted. 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.”

Shapiro is currently the director of the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies. His new job at Georgetown Law starts Feb. 1. He will also be a senior lecturer at Georgetown.

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