Following up on my previous posts (links below): Wall Street Journal editorial, Justice vs. Conformity at Scalia Law:
The campaign for intellectual conformity in higher education could win a major and destructive victory as George Mason University moves to violate the agreement that established Antonin Scalia Law School.
After Scalia died in 2016, a donor, described as a friend of the Justice, offered $20 million to rename GMU’s law school in his honor. GMU, a Virginia-based public university, agreed to condition the gift on the donor’s anonymity. The name officially changed that year.
Yet this month GMU threatened to renege on its contract by identifying the donor, according to a motion filed in Arlington County Court. The motion asked for a temporary restraining order, which was granted Thursday, but the case isn’t over. GMU could win the lawsuit, while the donor says the agreement has already been breached and may demand the return of $16 million.
The background is that since the law-school renaming was proposed, liberal faculty and students have been up in arms. GMU, like most universities, leans left, but its law school is a rare bastion of classical liberal thinking in higher education. That’s made it a target of activist groups and Freedom of Information Act requests from progressives who argue conservatives have too much influence. ...
Anonymous involvement in American politics goes back to the writings of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, of whom George Mason himself was a leader. Yet liberals want to use charges of “dark money” to target anonymous donors and purge invaluable resources at George Mason like its Center for the Study of the Administrative State.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- George Mason Renames Law School The Antonin Scalia School Of Law For $30 Million (Mar. 31, 2016)
- George Mason Renames Antonin Scalia Law School To Avoid Awkward Acronym 'ASSLaw' (Apr. 6, 2016)
- George Mason Faculty Senate Votes 21-13 To Oppose Naming Law School For Justice Scalia (Apr. 28, 2016)
- George Mason President Resists University Faculty's Call To Reject Naming Law School After Justice Scalia For $30 Million (May 5, 2016)
- George Mason Law Faculty Unanimously Supports Naming Law School After Justice Scalia For $30 Million (May 13, 2016)
- The Ridiculous Controversy Over Changing The Name Of George Mason Law School (May 16, 2016
- Revelations Over Koch Gifts Prompt Inquiry At George Mason (May 3, 2018)
- John McGinnis (Northwestern), Antonin Scalia Law School Is Under Attack for Being Successful and Different (May 9, 2018)
- The Trashing Of George Mason University (May 14, 2018)
- Faculty Views On The Koch Brothers' Influence At George Mason University (May 21, 2018)