Scalia Law School Receives $50 Million-plus gift

A transformative gift from the estate of the late Judge Allison M. Rouse and Mrs. Dorothy B. Rouse

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

From the press release: "George Mason University announced today that the Antonin Scalia Law School has received a gift of more than $50 million, a bequest from the estate of the late Judge Allison M. Rouse and Mrs. Dorothy B. Rouse. The largest gift received in George Mason history, the bequest will create a permanent endowment—the Allison and Dorothy Rouse Endowment—to support 13 new faculty chairs of approximately $4 million each."

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  1. Press release link is faulty.

    Does that mean that its a hoax?

    1. The author left off the “y” at the end of the link. Here’s a link:

      https://goo.gl/7pkPJn

      1. Thanks. Link works now.

        Nothing like having a public servant become a millionaire many times over.

        Or maybe it was the wife that made tens of millions during those sexist 1950s thru 1970s.

        1. How much money did he have before he became a judge?

          1. Those facts are never relevant to the story because media types don’t view stories the way many Americans do.

            The media would never come at a story with questions about where a public servant makes all their money.

            Well, except for Trump of course.

          2. Or after; he worked in the private sector for ten years after retiring from the Court of Appeals.

        2. Apparently, the estate donated another $43 million to the Heritage Foundation.

          The wife seems to have been a pretty high-powered lawyer in her own right, but yeah, that seems like a lot for a “public servant”. Unless it was family money? I have not found an article that says.

          1. It appears that they didn’t have any children, and that makes a huge difference as well, and that he worked for many years after retiring from the bench.

            1. As you guys point out, not having kids and being in private practice at various times in their lives could explain the fortune.

              I have been jaded because most Congressmen are lawyers and they leave Congress as millionaires with a Congressional pension.

              1. My understanding, from my limited review of the issue, is that Congress-critters get rich on insider trading (it’s not unethical via the rules they set for themselves) to buy and sell based on the laws they pass, or intend to. And that when they leave office, their re-election campaign funds are redirected back to them. That is, they used to take the money directly, now they donate their campaign war chest to some non-profit which in turn pays them high six figures for a lobbying job. This latter bit is what Paul Ryan is doing.

                1. My understanding is that the late judge made a series of what turned out to be extremely astute investments in property in Silicon Valley.

                  1. Hm… where judges in the state protected zoning laws, rent control, and other government schemes to artificially raise property prices?

                    1. You know the state supreme court decides that sort of thing ultimately, right?

                    2. You know that the CA Supreme Court does not have to take every court case?

                      So NO the CA Supreme Court does not decide that sort of thing ultimately.

              2. I recall a WSJ article back when Clinton was in the senate, and she had had a success rate of 30 out of 32 IPOs, a rate “neither God nor the Wall Street Journal had ever seen.”

                Apparently you can write down the names of who made the trade at the end of the day…after seeing if it was profitable or not.

                1. Are you sure you’re not confusing this with the commodities trading story from when she was First Lady of Arkansas?

  2. The only option for conservatives to maintain the current momentum pushing back at 40 years of losing every fight in the culture war (except perhaps guns and price controls) is to set up parallel institutions. Though that does not bode well for national unity I surmise.

    1. Conservatives already have parallel institutions in this context, and there are hundreds of them, but they tend to be fourth-tier and unranked schools crippled by censorship, nonsense, and authoritarianism.

    2. Price controls? Why does the Nixon administration come to mind?

      1. When was the Nixon admin? Was it more than 40 years ago? Yes. Read my comment again.

        Note, I said conservatives, not Republicans…there is overlap but they are not one and the same.

        Thank Milton Friedman and the boys that price controls were not put into place during the Great Recession.

  3. Alumni association fundraiser tell me that it takes about $4,000,000 to endow a law school chair. I guess they were right.

    1. American academia has become a bottomless cesspool of inflated costs to run a school.

      1. You do know how endowment works, right? You need the principal to be high because you live off of the interest.

        1. True, but he is still correct.

          1. Faculty paid from endowed chairs are essentially off-budget. A sufficiently well-endowed law school (go ahead, make the joke, you know you wantr to) could have an entire faculty made up of endowed professorships, so tuition and other revenue sources could go to other areas.

            1. True in principle, but some universities don’t follow this practice, permitting donors to endow a named chair for less than the full amount needed to generate enough income to support the faculty member holding it.

              I don’t know what GMU does, but the $4 million figure looks a bit low to me. If you spend 5%, and that looks high, you’ve got $200K, which has to pay a salary plus some other things, including maybe an assistant.

              OTOH, law faculty may not need as much in the way of RA’s as others.

          2. Correct or not, he certainly didn’t make his case.

            1. Poor Sarcastr() has trouble with opinions so tied to fact that they are inseparable.

              1. Your argument is based on a false premise. That’s not an opinion, it’s just being wrong.

                Others may agree with your thesis, but you provided support for your opinion. Which is a good thing – posters just coming in and yelling ‘schools suck and waste money!’ are not exactly productive for much more then their own self-validation. But the support you chose to highlight was bad .

    2. Public employees sacrifice higher salaries in the private sector, apparently.

  4. There are lots of rich Federalist Society types. They need to educate more judges who can decide in favor of their personal and corporate interests.

    1. They can try. But conservative education tends to be low-quality education and that does not appear to be a problem money can fix.

      1. “conservative education tends to be low-quality education”

        I would ask you for your source, but I know you don’t have one — so I won’t bother. Good day.

        1. Scan the third- and fourth-tier rankings, then check the unranked schools. Notice the number of conservative-controlled campuses. Then review the top 10, or 50, or 100 schools, which are liberal-libertarian mainstream institutions.

          Or just think ‘Harvard vs. Hillsdale, Berkeley vs. Ouachita Baptist, Michigan vs. Wheaton.’

          Or ask an educated, tolerant, modern person to try to explain this to you.

          1. The liberal campuses still have about 5% of their students as conservatives, which makes up 50% of the top 10% of their students.

            1. OK, let’s see that reference…

            2. The liberal campuses still have about 5% of their students as conservatives, which makes up 50% of the top 10% of their students.

              Is this illiterate, innumerate, or both?

  5. As always, I appreciate Prof. Bernstein’s willingness to engage with the commenters on his submissions. Perhaps he can lend Prof. Somin some of his mettle.

    1. You mean respond to comments like this?: ” In Somin’s world Americans would be slaves – we would have no rights to our country, our property, our labor” Why would he bother?

      1. The counter point would be “if Ilya has proven time and again his utter unwillingness to engage with the consumers of his work, why should the commenters put serious effort into their comments?” But of course that would presuppose that the comment you plucked out is an accurate representation of the sort of comment typically found on either Ilya’s posts specifically or VC in general, and I don’t believe it is.

        1. It is very common here that people characterize him and dismiss his posts without engaging in any real way with his ideas. In fact that seems to be the majority of the comments to his posts. That being the case, I don’t see much point in him responding. I do enjoy it when the authors participate, though. Prof. V slapped me down the other day!

  6. Unusually snarky commentary, and not from whom I would’ve guessed. At any rate, Congratulations to Prof. Bernstein and GMU!

  7. I wonder whether the Scalia Law School will seek to hire only ‘conservative’ professors for these new positions – and if so, whether folks would consider it problematic for the school to use that as a factor in hiring.

  8. This must make the Rouses honorary members of Heterodox Academy!

    Carry on, clingers.

  9. So much snark. I am very happy for GMU. My law school received a 30 million dollar gift, and it is still making impacts all of these years later.

  10. “He (Judge Rouse) retired from the bench in 1988 and worked for a decade as a private judge and arbitrator before he died in 2005 at the age of 86.

    Sounds pretty libertarianish.

    1. He would appear to have been in accord with the jurisprudence taught at the Scalia School of Law, however that might be characterized.

    2. He was a lawyer in private practice for three years, then a government prosecutor for 15 years, then an appointed judge (appointed in his 40s, likely chosen more for ideology than for experience or accomplishment); he capped his judicial career with a ruling that students need not be advised of their rights before questioning or searches by school officials, then took a taxpayer-funded pension and the revolving door into a ‘private judge’ position.

      This sounds “libertarianish?”

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