Penn Law deletes RBG statement after quoting conservative professor
Penn’s law school quoted professor Amy Wax, who holds strong opinions about immigration and other policies, in a statement honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Penn Law deleted the statement after extensive criticism from social media commenters.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School deleted its statement addressing the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after criticism for quoting conservative professor Amy Wax.
Penn Law quoted Wax’s book review of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life. In it, Wax said, “Let us now praise Ruth Bader Ginsburg." She then lauded the deceased justice for her “professional legacy, its place within larger judicial and legislative debates, and its implications for the shifting and often conflicting roles of women in modern society.”
Later in the book review, Wax mentioned that “it is rare that women, regardless of their profession, ability, or training, are willing to work long hours routinely and consistently,” instead opting to “spend significant amounts of time on family, children, friends, leisure, and civic-minded pursuits.”
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Wax is known among Penn students for her views about immigration. In July 2019, Wax stated that the United States should prefer immigrants from Europe over those from other parts of the world. Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger denounced her comments as “a bigoted theory of white cultural and ethnic supremacy” at best and “racist” at worst.
University of Pennsylvania community members lambasted Penn Law for including Wax's remarks in its statement.
“Continually quoting and celebrating Amy Wax is an incredible betrayal of your student body, especially students of color,” said one commenter on Facebook. “Despite years of explicitly racist, homophobic, and sexist screeds in national publications and her classroom, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School continues to honor her with an endowed chair and prominent quotes during historical moments.”
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“It’s so on brand for Carey Law… to ask a racist, sexist, homophobe her opinion about the passing of a justice who stood against the very harmful ideologies she promotes,” said another.
A third commenter said that “It reflects poorly on Penn Law to be highlighting Amy Wax's criticism of RBG at all, especially given Wax's history of racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic comments and actions.”
Wax told Campus Reform that “The most scandalous part is not the dopey, overheated student Facebook comments — and those are bad enough — but the unthinking, spineless, and uncritical caving by our law school ‘leadership’ to the most ignorant and intolerant contingent of our very expensively educated ‘elite’ students.”
She recommended that the school simply “ignore the student comments. How hard is that?”
Similarly, the “Dean might gently enlighten the students by stating that the law school welcomes and showcases a range of opinions and perspectives on important developments in the legal world.”
“Judging by the messages I have received in response to the [Daily Pennsylvanian student newspaper] article, the law school has once again made a fool of itself by failing to teach basic lessons that are fundamental to our legal system and our democracy. It’s disgraceful," she added.
Campus Reform reached out to Penn's Carey Law School but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft