Saturday, October 8, 2022
San Francisco Chronicle, Hastings Descendants Dispute Law School Name Is Racist. They Want the Name Kept — or a $1.7 Billion Payout:
Days after Gov. Gavin Newson signed a bill to reverse an 1878 law requiring that UC Hastings College of the Law forever keep its founder’s name — or the state must repay descendants $100,000, plus interest — six family members sued on Tuesday to get their money back.
If California persists in removing Hastings’ name from the law school on Jan. 1, the interest rate would be an annual 7%, family and supporters said Tuesday at a press conference outside San Francisco Superior Court.
After 144 years, California would owe Serranus Hastings’ descendants more than $1.7 billion, The Chronicle calculated. That’s a lot of money, even if it were split among countless Hastings descendants. But the family members who filed the lawsuit said they’d be happy just keeping the name “Hastings.”
Their suit accuses the state and the Hastings directors of breaching the 1878 contract and seeks an injunction to stop the name change. One of the Hastings directors is himself a great-great grandson of Hastings, and voted this summer to get rid of the name. The suit rejects the claim that the founder was a racist who sponsored massacres of Native people. It says that unless the state keeps the name, it must pay up.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- The Moral Case For Renaming UC-Hastings Law School Due To 'Indian Hunting' By Serranus Hastings In The 1850s (Jan. 11, 2017)
- Hastings Law School Balks At Name Change Despite Founder's Role in Genocide (Dec. 7, 2020)
- Hastings Law School To Keep Name Despite Founder's Role In Genocide, But Will Partner With Indian Tribe To Redress Past Injustices (July 6, 2021)
- NY Times: Should UC-Hastings Law School Change Its Name Due To Founder's Role In Native American Genocide? (Oct. 29, 2021)
- UC-Hastings To Seek Legislation To Change Its Name Due To Founder's Role In Native American Massacres (Nov. 4, 2021)
- NY Times: A New Name For California’s Oldest Law School: UC-San Francisco Or UC-Powen’om? (Mar. 22, 2022)
- UC-Hastings Law School To Change Its Name In July Due To Founder's Role In Native American Genocide (May 27, 2022)
- UC-Hastings Committee Unveils Proposal For New Name: 'College Of The Law, San Francisco' (July 28, 2022)
- Richmond And UC-Hastings Law Schools Remove Names With Racist Pasts (Sept. 26, 2022)
- State Of California Sued Over UC-Hastings Law School Name Change By Namesake's Descendants, Alumni (Oct. 5, 2022)