Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 5, 2020

George Washington Law Faculty Tried But Failed (For Now) To Revoke Alum Bill Barr’s Honorary Degree

Daily Beast, George Washington University Law School Faculty Tried To Get Bill Barr’s Honorary Degree Revoked:

Barr GWFaculty members at George Washington University Law School pushed this week for the school to rescind the honorary degree it had bestowed upon alumnus Bill Barr following the Attorney General’s efforts to clamp down on protests in the nation’s capital, sources tell The Daily Beast.

The push, which one source described as “serious,” was met by opposition from other members who argued that Barr’s actions—while aggressive and controversial—did not merit such a punishment from the university. For now, it appears Barr will keep his degree, amid warnings that it could send the university down a slippery slope of politically motivated degree-rescinding.

Nevertheless, the angst among the law school’s faculty is yet another data point underscoring how much of a pariah Barr has become in establishment circles and how appalled those circles, and others well beyond it, have been with the Trump administration’s handling of the protests. ...

Among some members of the faculty at George Washington Law School, the anger was particularly acute owing to Barr’s ties to the institution. Barr received his JD from the school in 1977 and was awarded an honorary degree in Doctor of Laws in 1992, during his first stint as Attorney General. 

Additionally, there is a “William P. Barr Dean’s Suite” at the school that, according to the alumni magazine, “welcomes students and visitors into” one of its buildings on 20th street in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink


"He taps out dozens of petty and spiteful tweets every day."

Words vs. actions. Tell me, when was the last time Republicans accused a Democratic Supreme Court nominee of being a gang rapist at the 11th hour of confirmation hearings, and then presumed him guilty without any actual evidence or investigation?

Also, are you going to address your false statements about the Harvard endowment sometime this year?

Because you're batting zero in terms of credibility these days.

Posted by: MM | Jun 7, 2020 12:14:43 AM

"Republicans aren't that petty and spiteful "

I see someone has been cryogenically frozen for a number of years. Welcome back.
So Donald Trump is the head of the Republican Party at the moment, and he taps out dozens of petty and spiteful tweets every day during business hours.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jun 6, 2020 11:02:45 AM

I think it is truly telling about the insular and aloof nature of this legal community - more concerned about the 'slippery slope' of their scholastic institution than with the erosion of constitutional rights across the nation. They act as though their institution or even the legal profession at large could survive a descent into fascism and that somehow, the primping and preening of their alumni actually matters to the country as a whole. I wish I could buy these holdouts for what they're worth and sell them for what they think they're worth.

Posted by: Solly Flood | Jun 6, 2020 10:51:53 AM

As an alum, I am disappointed, but not surprised. GW, as an institution, has always struck me as more dedicated to the preservation of power, as opposed to committed to justice. So its defense and celebration of Barr is very on brand. And a deserved stain on its reputation.

Posted by: Mark Blacknell | Jun 6, 2020 3:54:04 AM

GWU shows why it is the most overrated faculty in the country

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Jun 6, 2020 2:48:00 AM

I'm surprised they ever have awards to lawyers who've worked in GOP administrations.

Maybe they should send out a mass request for them all back? That would bring the country together, after all...

Posted by: MM | Jun 5, 2020 7:35:31 PM

Handling of the protests? What a bunch of crybabies. I remember Nixon and LBJ. They were much tougher.

Posted by: Smitty | Jun 5, 2020 2:33:30 PM

If I were Barr, I'd return the degree.

Posted by: Martin Knight | Jun 5, 2020 1:36:37 PM

Revoke accreditation for George Washington Law school.

Posted by: Rick Caird | Jun 5, 2020 10:54:36 AM

As a 1972 gradutate of GWU Law, I am appalled at how much it has veeered away from academic rigor into mindless "woke" resistance. I routinely round-file the requests I get to leave money to the school in my will---fat chance! I'm surprised they haven't got rid of Jonathan Turley for continuing to champion the Constitution and rule of law.

Posted by: effinayright | Jun 5, 2020 9:35:06 AM

At some Brezhnev times in USSR Academy of Sciences discussed to expel Sakharov. One of members said: there is just one precedent like this, namely expelling of Einstein from nazi Germany academy of Science. Sakharov remained a member.

Posted by: Dmitry Novikov | Jun 5, 2020 9:11:19 AM

Quoting the Instapundit: "This effort does not say good things about the seriousness of the legal academy generally. If an 'honorary' degree just means you’re a lefty in good standing, then it’s not much of an honor at all."

Posted by: D. Frank | Jun 5, 2020 8:00:38 AM

The "slippery slope" will only be one way: Republicans aren't that petty and spiteful that they'd try to get degrees of Democrats rescinded. The slippery slope in the US is the Democratic Party, the party of Tammany Hall and the Chicago Daley Machine.

Posted by: Mike Sigman | Jun 5, 2020 7:58:27 AM