WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has backed out of teaching a seminar at George Washington University's law school in the nation's capital, following student protests and the university's statement of support for the conservative justice's role on campus.
"Justice Thomas informed GW Law that he is unavailable to co-teach a Constitutional Law Seminar this fall," university spokesperson Josh Grossman said in an emailed statement Wednesday.
Thomas, 74, has taught at the private school since 2011. He was supposed to lead the seminar with Judge Gregory Maggs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Maggs once served as a Supreme Court clerk to Thomas.
Thomas was part of the conservative majority that in late June overturned the Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion.
In the following days, thousands of students signed a petition calling for the school to sever its relationship with Thomas. But university officials refused.
Maggs will continue to offer the class, Grossman 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.
Thomas did not respond to a request for comment made to the court's Public Information Office.