Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is not listed as an instructor for any courses on the website for George Washington University’s law school, where he’s taught since 2011, a removal that follows the high court’s controversial decision undoing decades of precedent protecting a nationwide right to abortion access.
Thomas, among the five justices who voted to overturn the precedent established by Roe v. Wade in 1973, also authored a concurring opinion suggesting the court should also revisit other precedents, including those entitling Americans access to contraception, same-sex marriage and same-sex relationships. His role in the decision prompted a GWU student to launch a petition signed by 11,300 people calling for Thomas to be removed from his teaching post at the university.
In an email obtained by the GWU student newspaper, The Hatchet, Thomas’ co-instructor said the justice had informed him that he would be unavailable to teach this semester.
“Justice Thomas has informed me that he is unavailable to co-teach the seminar this fall,” the law school’s Gregory Maggs reportedly wrote in his email. “I know that this is disappointing. I am very sorry.”
Maggs will now teach the course solo, The Hatchet reported. Neither Maggs nor a spokesperson for the GWU law school responded to requests for further information on Thomas’ removal from the University’s list of instructors. A spokesperson for the Supreme Court also did not return a request for comment.
GWU said in June that it would keep Thomas as an instructor for its constitutional law seminar despite the backlash following the court’s abortion decision.
“Debate is an essential part of our university’s academic and educational mission,” the university said in a statement at the time.
Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.