This news comes on the heels of a student-led petition to fire Thomas as a lecturer over his vote last month to overturn Roe v. Wade. The decision was announced in an email from Gregory Maggs who is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Maggs has also been co-teaching a constitutional law seminar with Thomas since 2011.
“Unfortunately, I am writing with some sad news: Justice Thomas has informed me that he is unavailable to co-teach the seminar this fall. I know that this is disappointing. I am very sorry,” Maggs wrote in an email to the class which was later confirmed by The GW Hatchet.
“The seminar has not been canceled but I will now be the sole instructor. For those of you still interested in taking the course, I assure you that we will make the best of the new situation.”
A spokesperson for the university confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that this was true.
“Justice Thomas informed GW Law that he is unavailable to co-teach a Constitutional Law Seminar this fall. The students were promptly informed of Justice Thomas’ decision by his co-instructor who will continue to offer the seminar this fall,” the spokesperson explained.
Just last month, a student at George Washington devised an online petition asking the university to end their relationship with Thomas. It stated that his employment at the school was “completely unacceptable.” The petition has received over 11,300 signatures.
George Washington Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew and Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Christopher Bracey sent a letter to the students in response, saying that it would not end Thomas’ class or terminate his employment at the institution.
“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 Justices Thomas’ employment nor cancel his class in response to his legal opinions,” the note stated.