Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will not be teaching at George Washington University Law School this fall for the first in over a decade amid widespread backlash against the overturn of Roe v. Wade, per the New York Post.
The decision comes a month after Justice Thomas and the four other conservative SCOTUS justices struck down the landmark case that upheld the constitutional right to abortion for nearly 50 years.
Thomas drew additional criticism for his concurring opinion in which he suggested that the nation’s highest court should reconsider rulings on same-sex marriage and access to contraception.
Thomas’s ruling and subsequent concurring opinion led to more than 11,000 GWU students and community members signing a petition aimed at removing him from the university.
Though GWU declined to fire Thomas over the petition or his views, the justice seemingly decided to step down as a professor of the constitutional law seminar he’s co-taught since 2011.
“Justice Thomas has informed me that he is unavailable to co-teach the seminar this fall,” said Gregory Maggs, co-professor of the law course, in a school-wide email.
“The seminar has not been canceled but I will now be the sole instructor,” Maggs wrote to the student body.
After last month’s SCOTUS ruling, GWU Provost Christopher Bracey and law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew told students that Thomas’ views “do not represent” the university’s stance, but they would not be terminating his contract.
“Just as we affirm our commitment to academic freedom, we affirm the right of all members of our community to voice their opinions and contribute to the critical discussions that are foundational to our academic mission,” university leaders wrote in an email earlier this month.
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