Judge who voted to overturn Roe v Wade steps down from teaching role

·1-min read
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas  (Getty Images)
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Getty Images)

Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas will no longer teach at a university law school years after protesters called for his removal following the Roe v Wade decision.

Thomas, 74, was criticised for his part in ending the federal right to abortion by overturning the Roe v Wade ruling last month and his call to "reconsider" rights such as same-sex marriage.

“Justice Thomas informed GW Law that he is unavailable to co-teach a Constitutional Law Seminar this fall,” George Washington University spokesperson, Josh Grossman said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

Thomas has taught at the school since 2011 and was supposed to lead the seminar with Judge Gregory Maggs of the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

In the following days following the Roe v Wade decision, thousands of students signed a petition calling for the school to sever its relationship with Thomas but university officials refused.

The petition has since received 11,000 signatures, while student at the university, Jon Kay, claimed Thomas “is actively making life unsafe for thousands of students on our campus”.

Previously, University Provost Christopher Bracey and law dean Dayna Bowen Matthew said in a campus-wide email last month that Thomas would not be fired as a law school adjunct, although his views did not represent the university or its law school.

"Like all faculty members at our university, Justice Thomas has academic freedom and freedom of expression and inquiry," the email said.

Thomas’ withdrawal was first reported by the GW Hatchet, the campus newspaper, which obtained an email from Maggs to students, telling them of the “sad news” that Thomas would not be co-teaching the class.

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