The U.S. Supreme Court overturned almost 50 years of bad precedent when it reversed the Roe v. Wade ruling. That monumental move had an effect on the nation, but also on the justices who issued the ruling.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas quit teaching at George Washington University, the Washington Examiner reported. Following the Roe decision, a petition to have Thomas removed from his professorship garnered 11,300 signatures.
Thomas and his email address have been removed from the faculty website. According to the university, the departure was Thomas’ decision and had nothing to do with the attempt to have him removed.
“Justice Thomas informed GW Law that he is unavailable to co-teach a Constitutional Law Seminar this fall,” a spokesman for the university told the examiner. “The students were promptly informed of Justice Thomas’ decision by his co-instructor, who will continue to offer the seminar this fall.”
Gregory Maggs had co-taught that section with Justice Thomas in the past and will now teach it solo. No reason was given for Thomas’ departure though the university said it would not cave to pressure to have him removed.
Following June’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, activists petitioned for his removal. Thomas had taught a GWU since 2011, and the university stood behind him.
“Because we steadfastly support the robust exchange of ideas and deliberation, and because debate is an essential part of our university’s academic and educational mission to train future leaders who are prepared to address the world’s most urgent problems, the university will neither terminate Justice Thomas’ employment nor cancel his class in response to his legal opinions,” the school had told students in an email. The petition also cited the Judge’s wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, and her supposed involvement in the Jan. 6 incursion at the U.S. Capitol.
Thomas and the other justices remain in activists’ crosshairs. It’s unclear why Thomas decided not to come back to GWU, but it isn’t unreasonable to assume it had something to do with that.