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Cancelling John Marshall: Two Law Schools Named After the Great Chief Justice Consider Dropping His Name

Told you so.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

In 2015, I queried whether a movement would form to take down statues of Chief Justice John Marshall. After all, he was an ardent slaveholder. Fast forward five years. In August 2020, I wrote a post titled "Cancelling John Marshall?" I questioned how long it would take for the purges to reach the Great Chief Justice. I'm sure some readers rolled their eyes. By now, you should recognize my predictions have a bad tendency to come true.

There are two American law schools named after John Marshall. First, the University at Illinois-Chicago John Marshall Law School. (Until recently this institution was an independent law school.) And second, the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Now both institutions are reconsidering their names.

About three months ago, several attorneys started a Change.org petition, urging both of these institutions to change their names:

As Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Marshall owned slaves, upheld slavery, perpetuated the slave trade, and he denied Native American rights to the land. Yet so many schools are named after him, from elementary schools to a few law schools.  This is prime example of systemic racism in the legal and educational establishment. We call on the following institutions to drop "John Marshall", or "Marshall" from their name:

  • University of Illinois at Chicago—John Marshall School of Law
  • Cleveland State University—Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • 18 other elementary, high schools and grad programs

This petition has garnered more than 1,700 signatures.

Now, the Dean of the John Marshall School of Law has responded. She will appoint a task force to consider dropping the name, to "to further our work to become an antiracist Law School."

After listening to input from the Law School community, I am appointing a new task force and a new committee to further our work to become an antiracist Law School. The details about each appear below. I hope you all will work with these two groups to help us continue to evolve and grow. In the near future, I will be providing additional updates and details about other antiracism programs and initiatives. Thank you for reading about these important matters.

Task Force to Consider Renaming the Law School 

Background: UIC Law's official name is UIC John Marshall Law School. That name, until August 2025, is controlled by a Premises Covenant in the Asset Transfer Agreement between the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and The John Marshall Law School. In addition, another Premises Covenant requires UIC to refer to the Law School campus as the John Marshall campus until August 2025.

The Law School's name traces to its founding, in 1899, as The John Marshall Law School. John Marshall was the fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; he also served as Secretary of State and as a member of the House of Representatives. John Marshall owned and traded slaves. He also wrote opinions that address slavery and indigenous sovereignty.

Some alumni, students, and faculty have called for the name John Marshall to be removed from the Law School's official name as expeditiously as possible and before the Premises Covenants expire. Dean Darby Dickerson has appointed and charged a Task Force to make findings and a recommendation about the Law School name.

If the Task Force recommends a name change, she will provide that recommendation to UIC's Chancellor. The Chancellor will make a recommendation to the University of Illinois President and Board of Trustees. Dean Dickerson also will provide the Task Force's findings and recommendation to the Law School Legacy Corporation f/k/a The John Marshall Law School so that its board can consider whether to waive the two Premises Covenants that require use of the John Marshall name until August 2025.

Charge: To develop findings and a recommendation about whether "John Marshall" should be removed from the Law School's name. In so doing:

Gather input from our law students, faculty, staff, and alumni regarding the Law School's name; Conduct research regarding C.J. John Marshall's personal and professional history regarding slavery, indigenous Americans, and related matters; Conduct research regarding why the Law School was named for C.J. John Marshall.

If the Task Force recommends removing the John Marshall name, propose the principles that should be recommended to the Law School Legacy Corporation when evaluating whether to release the University of Illinois from the Premises Covenants related to the John Marshall name and that the University of Illinois Board of Trustees use when evaluating whether to accelerate removal of John Marshall from the Law School's name.

Timeline: The Task Force's work will begin immediately. The Task Force plans to complete its work in or before January 2021.

I think I can predict what this Task Force will recommend: cancel John Marshall. From a business perspective, this move makes sense. The Dean will be able to sell the naming rights–a very valuable commodity.

The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has also begun a process.

"We take the petition to change the name of our law school and the spirit in which it was written very seriously. We reject and condemn racism in all its forms—overt, covert, and systemic, and we accept our responsibility to evaluate our role in perpetuating racism, whether it is conscious or unconscious.

Removing "Marshall" from our law school's name would be a very consequential decision by the College of Law and Cleveland State University that will require careful study and thoughtful consideration of different viewpoints from our entire law school and university community. We have begun that process by forming a Law School Name Committee consisting of CSU Cleveland-Marshall faculty, staff, students, and alumni which is meeting regularly to consider this issue.

In considering a name change, we will incorporate wide input and will be guided by our proud history, our guiding values, our law school's mission Learn Law. Live Justice, and the values and mission of Cleveland State University."

Cleveland State is a public institution. I suspect the Ohio legislature may have some thoughts about this move. There have been rumors of a possible merger between the University of Akron School of Law and the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. This merger would help avoid the name-change issue.

In any event, I told you so. And the purges will not stop with John Marshall.

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127 responses to “Cancelling John Marshall: Two Law Schools Named After the Great Chief Justice Consider Dropping His Name

  1. “By now, you should recognize my predictions have a bad tendency to come true.”

    That’s the kind of brainpower that lands a spot at the South Texas College Of Law Houston.

    1. As opposed to occasionally landing FIRST POST !!!! 111!!!!

      1. And a prediction: Tomorrow, Josh will write another incredibly stupid post about something that will include either an attempt to curry favor with the Trump admin in order to escape the hell of South Texas College of Law (sort of) Houston or pathetic self-aggrandizement or both.

        I’ll bet you already recognize that this prediction is, unfortunately, going to come true.

  2. “In any event, I told you so. And the purges will not stop with John Marshall.”

    Purges? Really?

    The term ‘purges’ is primarily associated with Soviet removal and execution of public officials who did not conform to Stalinesque types of government which resulted in millions being murdered by the USSR. Is removing the name from a law school really equivalent?

    The issues in the post deserve to be debated, specifically whether or not we should honor an individual whose abhorrent views on race and slavery are secondary to his contributions to the development of American democracy. Personally I believe that should be the case, Marshall is known for his judicial role, not his role in bigotry and slavery.

    But using loaded terms like ‘purge’ destroys the debate and makes it much more intolerant and inflamatory than it has to be. In fact, the use that term suggests the person posting has little substance in his position and instead is resorting to raw emotion rather than reasoned logic.

    1. Mass waves of population outrage, and virtue signalling, are highly emotional. There’s danger, even if right, for politicians to abuse it for their own power purposes.

      Grabbing pitchforks and torches to get Doctor Frankenstein, who build a killer, is logical, and don’t demean it otherwise?

      I understand what you are saying, but it doesn’t make full sense.

      1. It’s worse than that because it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

        What history teaches us is that the middle will cease to hold, and that there’ll be a backlash to this. Both Jim Crow and the Klan were backlashes to the excesses of reconstruction. The German people elected Hitler in 1933 because of the Stalin-supported Communists and Anarchists.

        Condi Rice put it best: We need to learn to live with our history.

        1. The KKK was a reaction to losing the Civil War and freeing the slaves. Reconstruction had barely commenced when the KKK got going. If anything, the evils of Reconstruction were a reaction to the KKK and recalcitrant Southern whites.

          1. The KKK was a response to anarchy and drunken Union soldiers.

            We occupied Germany and Japan in a very different manner.

            1. If the KKK was only in response to anarchy and drunken Union soldiers, why was it so explicitly racist?

              It was a response to freeing the slaves, pure and simple, a continuation of the Civil War by effectively guerilla war.

            2. Kinda odd, then, that it lasted so long. Anarchy and drunken Union soldiers were pretty long gone by, say, 1950.

              1. Anti-Klan act of 1871?

        2. “excesses of reconstruction”

          Whoa! Or as the kids say, Woah! Dr. Ed said that out loud. Nothing quite like the excess of equality for black people to provoke a backlash.

          1. Reconstruction amendments are a violation of the principles of federalism.

            1. That statement is nonsensical. There isn’t some pure concept of federalism. Federalism is all a matter of degrees.

              The U.S. was never governed pursuant to perfect adherence to whatever principles of federalism you idiosyncratically hold as the One True federalism. Obviously, the States disagreed with you, at the time of the Founding at at the time of the adoption of the reconstruction amendments, regarding the proper tradeoffs to make between a purely federalist system and a strong central government with basic guarantees for citizens. (Unless your view of federalism somehow perfectly matches the tradeoffs between federalism and a strong central government that the Founders made in moving from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution.)

              But, it is noted that you find the One True federalism more important than, for example, guaranteeing the right to vote for former slaves and their descendants. I am not sure why you so publicly want to take that position, however, it is noted.

        3. ” The German people elected Hitler in 1933 because[…]”

          The German people elected Hitler because he persuaded them that their problems were no due to any flaws in them, but because Others were conspiring to steal what was rightfully theirs. The problems the people of Germany were suffering in the 1930s were largely the result of losing the first world war, and the harsh peace terms the allied powers had forced on them, plus the fact that there was a worldwide economic depression on.

        4. The Emancipation Proclaimation declared slaves in the Confederacy free and invited the former slaves to enlist in the Union Army, which the former slaves did in significant numbers as the Union armies advanced and made slaves free in fact. In 1865, Robert E. Lee endorsed the idea that the Confederacy should free able bodies slaves and use them as soldiers. In response to concerns that this would undermine the institution of slavery, he wrote, “If it end in subverting slavery it will be accomplished by ourselves, and we can devise the means of alleviating the evil consequences to both races. I think, therefore, we must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves be used against us, or use them ourselves at the risk of the effects which must be produced upon our social institutions.”

          In other words, Confederates were considering how to mitigate the “evil consequences” of abolition even before the war was over. Something along the lines of Jim Crow was being contemplated before reconstruction even started.

          Source: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924079622183&view=2up&seq=398

    2. PURGE!!!! Bolsheviks were not Russian, nor Christian … same game being played out today with slight variations in the script. Create great agitation and pour on the propaganda, in the end everything is incorrect and must be cancelled. Erase the history, rewrite the history, destroy the culture. Only jews can do this to a civilized society. Only jews have a need for this.

      1. More of the RW antisemitism that Trumpist commenters here routinely whistle past or wink at, but in any event have nothing ill to say about. Meanwhile they’re insisting with a straight face that Arthur’s insulting culture war rhetoric is the worst bigotry they see here. And then they stroke their beards and wonder why Jews vote Democratic.

        1. Leo, we just don’t want to draw attention to it — we don’t support it, don’t believe anyone else will either, and hope that it just goes away.

          Kinda like what was said about Bush ’41 and flagburning — the more of a fuss he made, the more flags got burnt.

          1. Leo, we just don’t want to draw attention to it — we don’t support it, don’t believe anyone else will either, and hope that it just goes away.

            That’s a commendable sentiment. Unfortunately it’s unsupported by the consistent, partisan history of what does get condemned.

      2. Look, schmuck — yes the Bolsheviks were Jewish, but so were a shiteload of the people they killed, and there really is no place for your myopic bigotry.

        1. “The Bolsheviks were Jewish”… what? Some of them were Jewish. Most of them weren’t. Where do you get your information, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

          1. And the above is the *other* reason why conservatives ignore antisemitism rather than condemn it.

            I was responding to this: “Erase the history, rewrite the history, destroy the culture. Only jews can do this to a civilized society. Only jews have a need for this.” When I read that a second time, I realized I had to respond.

            I knew that some of the Bolsheviks were Jewish — I neither know nor care how many of them were. It was a demurrer — my points being (a) it’s irrelevant and (b) a lot of the people they hurt were Jewish.

            Whatever this has to do with the Elders of Zion (whomever they may be) is beyond me — and I don’t think I want to know.

            Maybe demurrer is not the right legal term….

            1. When you say something like “Yes, the Bolsheviks were Jewish”, it’s hard to read that as anything other than you claiming that the Bolsheviks were Jewish. In context, your post looks like you’re agreeing with that person up above that the Bolsheviks were all Jewish, but that it doesn’t matter since they also killed a bunch of Jews. If you don’t want to be misunderstood as claiming that the all the Bolsheviks were Jewish, then I recommend refraining from writing “Yes, the Bolsheviks were Jewish”.

              Also, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is one of the foundational works of modern anti-semitism. It was a fraudulent document claiming to represent some kind of Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. It’s a source of most of the claims about “Jewish Bolshevism” that were so popular among the Nazis and continue to crop up with nutters like the poster above.

              1. “Yes, the Bolsheviks were Jewish”, it’s hard to read that as anything other than you claiming that the Bolsheviks were Jewish.”

                Some of them were. Meh….

  3. ” After all, he was an ardent slaveholder. ”

    Can anyone tell, or does anyone know, whether Prof. Blackman considers this a plus or a minus?

    Or maybe just a wash?

    Thank you.

    1. In haste, I typed “wash.”

      It should have been “whitewash.”

      Sorry.

      1. “wash” is more fitting

        1. You don’t know Josh.

    2. Ardent slaveholder as opposed to – what?

      A half-hearted, wishy-washy slaveholder?

      What does that even mean?

  4. Replace him with Gabriel Duvall.

    1. “In 1939, Ernest Sutherland Bates, the author of The Story of the Supreme Court called Duvall “probably the most insignificant of all Supreme Court Judges.”

      Sounds good.

      1. From Wikipedia:

        According to one of Chief Justice Marshall’s biographers, Duvall “became distinguished for holding on to his seat for many years after he had become aged and infirm because he was fearful of who would replace him, thus inaugurating what has become a popular tradition for subsequent Supreme Court Justices.”

        Seems RBG could have taken a lesson from him; does that increase or decrease his insignificance?

  5. Keep the school names the same. But claim they’ve been renamed after Thurgood Marshall. Problem solved.

    1. I like this idea it is a clever compromise. Losing the name John gets rid of the issue, and saying Marshal refers to Thurgood make the referee more contemporary.

      If only the name committees could be that wise.

    2. Nah…
      Thurgood Marshall gets cancelled because he should have changed his name in the first place.
      Only safe last name now is one that never existed before today. #%&*%# anyone?

  6. I suggest they rename it the Lavrenti Beria School of Law. Fits the zeitgeist.

    1. I like to remind people that Lavrenti Beria died of lead poisoning.

      1. It’s the Trotsky principle. Some around here seem to have forgotten it.

    2. Better would be “George Floyd Law School”

  7. Marshal invented judicial review. Not worthy anyways.

    1. Yes and no. In the context of Marbury v. Madison, it makes sense. You cannot force the judicial branch to do something it believes that the Constitution does not allow it to do.
      Of course, it was then taken far beyond that in later cases.

    2. No, it was always assumed that the Court would act as a check on the other two branches. See John Jay’s letter to George Washington.

      1. You know the saying about “assume”?

        1. https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-13-02-0263

          Nobody objected to Jay’s formulation. See also Federalist Paper 81.

          1. Not objecting doesn’t make it correct. Its not in the Constitution’s text, so I don’t care what Jay wrote.

            A Federalist Paper is a subjective propaganda piece aimed at getting ratification done, not an objective analysis.

            1. Your initial comment was that Marshall “invented” judicial review. The Federalist Papers, Anti-Fedrralist Papers, pre-Marbury federal and state court opinions, and even the Judiciary Act of 1789, all discuss the concept of judicial review. As such, it is incorrect to say Marshall “invented” it.

              1. Ok.

                “made it part of Constitutional law” then

                1. Antifederalists like Jefferson (who was not one of the Framers) held out for a while, arguing that the Court can’t construe the Constitution, but they had already lost the argument.

                  1. Jefferson approved of the Constitution, so why would you call him that? I understand that the spelling and punctuation regarding the two sides can be problematic.

              2. Marshall didn’t invent it, he just invented the idea that it was in the Constitution all along, even though nobody else saw it until he spelled it all out.

  8. Moral Panic.

    1. Agreed. Why is someone panicking about some schools debating changing their name?

  9. I predict that Josh continues with his stream of consciousness blogging, and 5 years from now claims one of his thoughts from 2020 comes true.

    The Oracle of Delphi better watch out!

  10. Blackman hasn’t heard the whole story — they are planning to remove “Law School” from their name as well.

    After all, “an antiracist Law School” strikes me as a place that teaches Critical Race Theory to the exclusion of Constitutional Law, or law in general.

    Hence, I propose a new name:
    The George Floyd School for Petulant Adult-Sized Children.

    Curriculum to include how to live a self-destructive lifestyle as best exemplified by the late George Floyd.

    1. What do you have against dwarfs dwarves midgets short vertically challenged people?

    2. “After all, “an antiracist Law School” strikes me as a place that teaches Critical Race Theory to the exclusion of Constitutional Law, or law in general.”

      That is an unearned assumption. A law school obviously still teaches law whatever else it may teach. The inclusion of economics in the curriculum, for instance, would not suggest that the place excludes law. Why would the presence of race theory suggest the exclusion of law?

      1. Because the two are mutually exclusive.

        1. The two are not mutually exclusive, though. Law often deals with issues of race.

  11. “In 2015, I queried whether a movement would form to take down statues of Chief Justice John Marshall.”

    I clicked on the link and read the post, but I don’t see any query about whether a movent would form to take down statues of Marshall. To recheck, I did a simple search of the post for “Marshall” and got only one result, which was not about removing his statute.

    What’s the deal?

    1. Maybe his predictions have the bad habit of being retrospective?

    2. Heh. Good catch. So not only is Prof. Blackman engaged in pointless self-promotion, but he’s lying about it.

  12. You are correct. It doesn’t even suggest that other statues will be removed. You can extrapolate from it, if you want; but it is not explicit or even hinted at.

    1. All the more like Nostradamus. The guy is creepy good at this “prediction” business.

    2. Heh. My comnent was meant as a reply to QuantumBoxCat, not Josh 🙂

  13. I think if you want to continue honouring slave owners then you should continue to do so.

    1. At the time Slave holding was legal and at the time of Independence legal in all 13 of the original colonies. That a prominent person owned slaves was unremarkable. Should we fail to acknowledge all of the remarkable things these people accomplished?

      Even Ben Franklin, co-founder of the first abolition society owned slaves, is that enough to deny recognition of his change in attitude or fail to acknowledge his many other accomplishments?

      1. Refusing to honor people by naming schools after them does not, in any way, “fail to acknowledge all of the remarkable things these people accomplished.” Taking someone’s name off a school does not magically remove mention of any of their accomplishments (not even a single one) from textbooks, museums, libraries, or the Internet. It doesn’t even remove mention of their accomplishments from within the school being renamed. Or did I miss the place in the proposal where along with the name change, teaching or even alluding to Marshall’s legal ideas would become a firing/expelling offense?

        Blackman’s “purge” is nothing more than a persecution fantasy intended to demonize those whose politics he disagrees with. It’s in the same vein as, and should be subject to no less ridicule than, the oft-repeated claims of fundamentalists that if lefties get elected, the Bible will be outlawed.

        1. “the oft-repeated claims of fundamentalists that if lefties get elected, the Bible will be outlawed.”

          If the lefties CAN outlaw the Bible, isn’t that a sign that the all-powerful God of the Bible isn’t quite all-powerful?

          1. The God of the Bible is every bit as powerful as Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Spock, the Fonz, James Bond, Darth Vader, Black Panther, Batman, Al Swearengen, or Captain Marvel.

            Maybe no match for Frank Galvin, Atticus Finch, or Arthur Kirkland, though.

      2. Not all 13 — Mass had outlawed it circa 1782 on the basis of the 1780 Constitution of MA.

        1. Note I said Independance. That happened in 1776.

  14. Selling the naming rights for big $$$? Just like MLB Ballparks?

    Cant wait to hear about the; “UIC Guaranteed Rate Law School”.

    (The other two White Sox fans will get it)

  15. When will Yale, which of course was named after slave-holder Elihu Yale, change its name? I would suggest “University of Southwestern Connecticut.”

    1. Funny! Of course, they’d also have to change the locks—

    2. Yale changed the name of Calhoun College, and stopped there.

      Yale already shares New Haven with Southern Connecticut State University, so dandy confusion and hilarity might ensue.

    3. That is up to each individual organization. If enough conservatives (who are behind the thrust for a name change at Yale) advocate for changing Yale’s name, and the people in power at Yale approve, then I am fine with that.

  16. There is coming a time when leftist agitators like this will be rejected wholesale and it will be glorious.

    1. As long as you use “rejected” to mean “exterminated,” I agree, it will be glorious.

      1. No. We don’t do that. Leftists do that.

        Humiliation for being wrong is the best punishment.

        1. Who’s “we?” Of the countless wishcasts that have been posted here for liberal bloodshed, you’re the first Trump apologist I’ve seen criticize one. So kudos for that. But if your erstwhile fellow travelers have anything to do with it, you may soon be known as Bored RINO.

          1. You are really funny.
            I did not vote for Trump, don’t plan to vote for him in 2020, and have harshly criticized him. I am anything but a “Trump apologist.” Although I will criticize what I consider silly criticisms of him, or attempts to hijack the country into Marxism.

            As from whether I am called a RINO or not, I could not care less. I know my principles, and if that makes someone not like me, too bad.

  17. “antiracist Law School”

    I hope they lose federal funding.

    1. No reason to keep funding these clown colleges. Time to #defundhighereducation.

      These are the people that like lecturing us about “modern slavery”. If the student loan regulatory scheme isn’t effectively creating a new indentured servant class I don’t know what is. Time to end it. Let these “schools” float or sink on their own merits. No need to prop them up any further.

      1. Most modern universities are research organizations that hold classes as a side business. Target the for-profit vocational schools if you think being dependent on federal education funding is a bad thing.

  18. Why would someone want to donate big $$$ to name a school that had just canceled its previous namesake? It seems like having your name on an academic institution is just a liability.

    1. “where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people as well” – Heinrich Heine

      1. Who’s burning books? Schools change their names all the time. If the institution, its students, its prospective students, and/or its donors, think a different name will be better for marketing or messaging or whatever, why don’t they have the right to do that? Including if they want to send a message that slavery was bad? That’s kind of a given, I would think, but if they think renaming will really drive the point home, who cares? John Marshall doesn’t because, news flash, he’s dead. Because you think he should be honored, they should think he should be honored? It is exactly not like they are burning John Marshall books.

        Marshall-Wythe School of Law changed its name to William & Mary School of Law without all this handwringing. Was Marshall or Wythe cancelled then? Does it actually matter that the reason people thought it would be better marketing for WM Law School graduates had nothing to do with whether Marshall or Wythe should be honored and just better grab some reflected glory from the (also…more) highly respect undergraduate College of William and Mary?

        1. Of course they can change their name whenever they want to … but the context matters! If you change your name because of mob extortion, you are setting a precedent … that will likely be used for goals you find less palatable when the mob turns right.

          1. When are we to observe a great Clinger Wave in America, in your judgment?

          2. I have little concern about what this alleged, but unproven, “mob” will do in regard to my law school’s name or mascot. If the Board of Trustees, current students, former students, future students, etc., agree that a different name reflects better on the school and the community, I will agree or disagree, but it’s a decision that members of the community can agree to on whatever basis they feel is appropriate. But you want to conflate a conversation among stakeholders as some sort of threat of force. This isn’t state coercion (first amendment), this isn’t threat of violence (illegal), this isn’t some unlawful economic extortion attempt, so stop trying to fit this rather commonplace decision to rename a school into your fears about “mob” rule.

            You may not like the reasons or agree with the reasons, but it really isn’t your decision (unless you are a stakeholder in the school I can’t even remember the name of because it is only a little more prestigious than the not at all prestigious South Texas College of Law Houston for which the poster works in which more’s the pity to you, frankly). Similarly, if I disagree with my law school’s name change but another view prevails, well, if it was done democratically (or according to the institution’s governing rules) what’s my beef with that?

            Just because you don’t like what a group of people decides to do, doesn’t make their free decision to do it mob rule.

    2. John Marshall wasn’t involved in having either of the schools named for him. Frankly, I imagine he’d find the offer mildly offensive, considering the quality of the schools involved (only a tier or two above a place like South Texas College of Law).

      1. “(only a tier or two above a place like South Texas College of Law).”
        Hear, hear!

    3. ” It seems like having your name on an academic institution is just a liability.”

      Not a lot of living people with their names on academic institutions. Trump University was a liability because it was a giant fraud operation, not because it was attached to a famous idiot.

    4. I don’t think John Marshall donated money to either school, so the worry is unnecessary. Plus, anyone actually worried about this could attach a provision to their donation or endowment specifying what happens if the name changes subsequently.

  19. Thomas Jefferson noted the danger of judges. A free people cannot be ruled by the discretion of morons in black robes … it only serves to incite imminent lawless action. First kill all the lawyers!!

    1. You mean Thomas Jefferson the slaveowner?

      1. Yes, and yet he’s still a hero to most. Whereas you are not.

        1. Elvis was also a hero to most.

          Anyway, I was trolling.

          1. Watch what you say about St. Elvis the Undying.

  20. There shouldn’t be any kind of Marshall law in the heartland of America.

  21. Let me see if I got this right.
    1,700 people “sign” an online petition.
    (how do the ensure it is distinct real persons?)
    This is grounds to begin a renaming review of a law school.

    62,984,828 people vote to get rid of democrats.
    65,853,514 people vote to get rid of Republicans.
    Yet we still have both.
    Do we have to vote online, or what?

    1. “62,984,828 people vote to get rid of democrats.
      65,853,514 people vote to get rid of Republicans.”

      Out of over 300,000,000 Americans.

  22. We should probably just cancel the John Marshall Law School. Less than 50% have full-time JD-required employment 10 months after graduation.

  23. One wonders, depending on how things go, if contemporary supporters of abortion will get similar treatment by future history.

    1. You mean champions of women’s reproductive rights? Heroic foes of the patriarchy?

      /sarc

    2. “wonders, depending on how things go, if contemporary supporters of abortion will get similar treatment”

      You’ll first have to find some contemporary supporters of abortion. There aren’t a lot of folks out there saying “abortions are keen! Everyone should get at least one!”

  24. How about the Lysander Spooner School of Law?

  25. Questions for Josh Blackman. If you were opening a new law school tomorrow, would you choose to name it after John Marshall? Would not naming it after Marshall somehow be reprehensible? If not, why is that any different than renaming tomorrow a school presently named after Marshall?

    1. Depends on whether you’re tipping over a statue in the courtyard in front of the campus.

  26. The school should sell the naming rights.
    For these two the “Overstock School of Law” might be a good choice.

    1. David H. Koch School of Law?

  27. In addition to owning slaves, Marshall accepted a Supreme Court appointment from a lame-duck President who had already lost his bid for re-election.

  28. By now, you should recognize my predictions have a bad tendency to come true.

    If you think that’s impressive, this will blow your mind. Every time I see a headline to the latest iteration of your self-congratulatory spam, I say to myself, “that’s another Josh.” I’ve yet to be wrong. How effing brilliant am I?

  29. Why should anybody care, particularly, if Marshall’s name is removed from from a school’s name? I mean, unless you are the restless spirit of John Marshall? If the John Marshall school becomes the “Someone Else” school.
    I can sympathize, a bit… back when I was an undergraduate, the football team played in “Parker Stadium”, but by the time my daughter went to the same educational institution, the football team played in “Reser Stadium”. Since my name is not Parker, this was not a big deal for me. The difference was in the construction on the student side of the facility, the alumni side of the stands was the same in both stadia.

    1. That’s what I was thinking. My first response to this post was “So what?” I think if you’re getting this upset about a law school considering changing its name, then perhaps you have your priorities wrong.

      1. Who do you see getting upset?

        1. The one who calls this a “purge” and alleges this is a slippery slope: “And the purges will not stop with John Marshall.”

          1. Oh noes! If they can come after John Marshall for being racist, they can come after old racist for being racist! That would be terrible. (to people who like to say and do racist things.)

          2. You’re unfamiliar with Professor Blackman. He gets more animated than that over the placement of his monitors.

  30. Marbury v Madison should be void for criminality. It had much corruption, conflict of interest, and misconduct. His biggest crime was not slave holding. It was judicial review in violation of Article I Section 1, giving all lawmaking power to the Congress.

    This lawless, crime ridden decision lay dormant for 50 years. It was revived in Dred Scott. That judicial review violated established law, a ratified international treaty with Canada, and set off the Civil War.

    But nothing compares with the megadeaths caused by Roe v Wade, another progeny of Marbury v Madison.

    Marshall’s judgment was an unmitigated catastrophe for our nation.

    1. Are you trying to win some kind of award for revisionism and misinformation?

  31. I haven’t read the 107 comments above, so I apologize if this has already been mentioned, but there is also a John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

    1. Which, approximately 0% of the population cares about.