Philadelphia-area lawmakers and advocates Thursday joined the rising chorus condemning the latest racist statements made by University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, calling upon the school to revoke Wax’s tenure and scrutinize her employment.

Standing outside Penn’s Carey Law School on Thursday, State Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D., Philadelphia, Delaware) called Wax’s latest anti-Asian comments “reprehensible and ugly,” demanding that Penn no longer allow the professor to “hide behind the veil of tenure to spew her hateful speech,” and for the school to put the professor’s employment “on trial.”

“We stand for tenure,” Williams said. “We do not stand for hate speech.”

Wax — no stranger to controversy — most recently raised eyebrows and ire for her statements in December on a podcast interview with economist Glenn Loury, where she called the immigration of “Asian elites” into the United States problematic, later writing in a letter on Loury’s site that “the United States is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration.”

“She does have a right to say that. The question is, does she have a right to say that as a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania?” said Philadelphia City Councilmember David Oh, adding that “it’s important to call out” Penn officials and “to challenge them to live up to what they claim is the basis of this law school and this entire institution of higher learning.”

Standing with local leaders of the NAACP and the American Jewish Committee, Williams said he had already discussed the request to revoke Wax’s tenure and review her employment with faculty at the law school, and intends to follow up in a letter signed by Pennsylvania Senate Democrats.

“It sets a tone and tenor that the speech of this professor has a chilling effect on the speech and in the minds and on the development of the students who attend this institution,” said State Sen. Sharif Street (D, Philadelphia), a Penn Law alum. “[Hate speech] creates license to devalue people. It contributes to the violence that we’ve seen against Asian Americans that is happening across the country. ... And it should not be coming out of a law professor in what I like to think of as the greatest law school in America.”

Earlier this month, Penn law school Dean Ted Ruger issued a statement condemning Wax’s “anti-intellectual and racist” statements, but noted that her tenure protects her freedom of speech, despite espousing “xenophobic and white supremacist views.”

In an email Thursday, a Penn Law spokesperson said that Ruger had consulted with university officials about “appropriate action” against Wax.

“University rules require that any sanction on a faculty member, whether major or minor, must go through a process that involves Faculty Senate authority, and cannot be made by a dean or other administrator unilaterally,” the spokesperson said. “Dean Ruger is carefully considering all aspects of that process and will announce more specific action imminently.”

As of Thursday, more than 2,400 Penn students, alumni, parents, and supporters had signed a petition calling for Wax to be suspended from her teaching duties and for the university to “provide transparency” in its standards involving faculty conduct and tenure. The Philadelphia Bar Association this month also condemned Wax’s latest statements, and the OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates Wednesday called for her suspension or firing.

“Wax’s racist comments have become a semi-annual ritual that receives temporary furor and temporary consequences,” the Penn petition states.

In 2019, Wax’s comments during a conference that U.S. immigration would benefit with “more whites and fewer non-whites” also ignited calls for her firing from students and condemnation from Ruger. In 2018, she was barred from teaching mandatory first-year courses after she questioned the intelligence and aptitude of Black students at the law school.

» READ MORE: Inside the campaign to take down Penn Law prof Amy Wax

A professor at Penn Law since 2001, Wax currently teaches two courses, one titled “Remedies” and the other “Conservative Political and Legal Thought.”

In the December podcast interview, she told Loury: “I’ve been canceled so much that I feel like I’ve sort of gone through the tunnel to the other side of cancellation, which is pretty liberating in a lot of ways.”