Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas won’t be returning to his teaching position at George Washington University Law School amid a petition requesting his removal from the university.
On Wednesday, Gregory Maggs, who co-taught the law seminar with Thomas since 2011, sent out an email to the student body about the future of the course.
“Justice Thomas has informed me that he is unavailable to co-teach the seminar this fall,” Maggs wrote. “The seminar has not been canceled, but I will now be the sole instructor.”
Maggs added, “For those of you still interested in taking the course, I assure you that we will make the best of the new situation.”
Thomas’ exit from the university comes as a petition signed by more than 11,000 community members circulated online, calling for GWU to sever ties with the Supreme Court Justice.
The petition called Thomas’ employment at the university “completely unacceptable,” citing his concurring opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, in which he also questioned the rights to contraception and same-sex marriage. The petition also mentioned his wife Ginni Thomas’ “part in the attempted coup” on Jan. 6 at the Capitol.
Despite the demands to fire Thomas, George Washington University officials refused to remove the justice from his teaching position.
Last month, Provost Christopher Bracey and GW Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew sent out an email distancing the university from the views Thomas shared in his concurring opinion.
However, the email stated that Thomas’ employment was beneficial to students and significant to the school’s educational mission.
“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,” the university leaders wrote.
A spokesperson for the school did not reveal whether Thomas plans to return to his teaching position or if the exit is permanent.