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Law schools shouldn’t be ideological echo chambers

Civility dies in echo chambers.

The growing trend of cancel culture on college campuses once again became the headline of major news networks across the country. This time it was at my own law school, at George Washington University, with the “woke” mob targeting Justice Clarence Thomas, who co-lectures an annual seminar here.

A month ago, an undergraduate GWU student with no affiliation to the law school ran a petition to remove Justice Thomas from his position at the law school, just because he was unhappy with the outcome of the Dobbs case. Thankfully, the law school administration refused to cave into the pressure from these activists and reaffirmed their commitment to upholding academic integrity and freedom of expression in education.

However, on July 27 we learned Justice Thomas informed the professor who co-instructs the class that he is unavailable to co-teach the seminar this upcoming fall.

Of course, this was sad news for many students who were enrolled in that class. It is no secret that his class is one of the most popular courses at GWU Law. Many of us hope that he is merely taking a break and that he comes back again to teach on our campus.

This decision by Justice Thomas has sparked a lot of debate surrounding the unhinged cancel culture mob that has been threatening the quality of education on college campuses across the country.

I immigrated to the United States in 2015 from Iran. I have seen what happens when the dissenting voices are shut down and diversity of thought is erased. Growing up under an authoritarian regime has shown me the horrors of being stripped of our civil rights and liberties, especially freedom of expression. I know what happens when the government or a minority has absolute control over society and punishes those who have opposing views. Therefore, I have always been a staunch believer in limited government, separation of powers, constitutional conservatism and free markets.

As a student at the George Washington University Law School, I bring a perspective to the classroom that maybe most of my classmates might not share. Yet, we engage in debate and conversation and share our opinions because we open each other’s eyes to new perspectives. I am very thankful for the GWU Law faculty and my fellow classmates who are dedicated to fostering an environment where all of us can come together and discuss our points of view and engage in debate. But that does not happen all the time.

As a law student, having a sitting Supreme Court Justice as a faculty member is a tremendous learning opportunity. So, it is truly an honor to have Justice Thomas as a faculty in our law school.

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