Prof. critical of court system suspended for use of N-word

  • Law professor under investigation after offending students by using “the N-word” as an example while discussing offensive battery.
  • The Emory professor, who has a history of decrying racial issues within the judicial system, is currently suspended from the classroom pending the results of the investigation.

A white Emory University law professor who wrote that the American court juries are “plague[d]” by racism was suspended this week for allegedly using the N-word in class.

In a statement released Wednesday, Emory University condemned Paul Zwier’s use of the term. Zwier told the student newspaper, the Emory Wheel, that he said the word in the context of discussing tort of offensive battery.

Zwier acknowledged to the paper that he should not have used the word and apologized to the class the next day. In a statement released Wednesday, Emory University condemned the incident, saying, “This offensive language was not part of the case law cited. The use of this – or any racial slur – in our community is unacceptable.”

WAGA-TV reported that the university has assigned another instructor to the class in which Zwier said the word while it investigates the matter. It was not immediately clear whether Zwier would keep his job at Emory University. A spokeswoman for Emory University did not immediately respond to further questions from Campus Reform.

Zwier’s use of the n-word in class is particularly disturbing, given that just last year he railed against the American judicial system, suggesting that it is “plague[d]” by racism. In a March 2017 essay, Zwier raised concern about whether juries are “still considered the ‘hallmark of liberty’ in criminal cases.”

He suggested that while the Civil Rights Movement helped to advance some of the rights of minorities, it perhaps has not done enough :“Yet despite the victory for inclusion of blacks on juries, other questions and concerns about how juries handle questions of race continue to plague the system today.”  

“Jurors may lack the experience with racism that might bring appreciation for the harm caused and maliciousness routinely intended by a defendant. On the other hand, the jurors’ own views, stereotypes, and racist attitudes may make them too likely to either condemn or exonerate defendant,” Zwier added.

Zwier did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

Get exclusive access to breaking CampusReform stories as they happen. Sign up below and we'll keep you in the loop.
 Weekly Digest

 Daily Emails

Jon Street
Jon Street | Managing Editor

Jon Street is a news editor for Campus Reform. Six years ago, Jon cut his reporting teeth fresh out of college as an intern at Media Research Center's, where he interviewed multiple members of Congress and former presidential candidates. From there, he went on to complete a stint at, where his exclusive, investigative work was picked up or cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News, National Review, and the Drudge Report, among others. More recently, Jon spent three years as an assistant editor at In his free time, Jon enjoys trying new coffeehouses around the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and traveling back to his home state of Missouri to spend time with his family.

20 Articles by Jon Street