Thoughts on Renaming John Marshall Law School

I would keep John Marshall's name, but add Frederick Douglass'.

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Within reason, I think it's good for American society to be rethinking who were deemed heroes and role models in the past. It always bothered me that despite the victories of the civil rights movement, we still had so many monuments, public buildings, and so on named after architects and supporters of slavery. It's akin to German Nazis still being honored in Germany–though admittedly, unlike some of the Founding Fathers who promoted slavery but also were champions of liberalism in other spheres, Nazis had little else redeeming going for them.

I also understand why some think that John Marshall, regardless of his involvement in slavery both in his private and public lives, should be honored for his contributions to American jurisprudence. And I also understand why alumni of the law school might be attached to the name of the school they attended.

So here is what I would be inclined to do if I were in charge of the issue: keep the Marshall name, but add an abolitionist champion. For example, one could rename the school Marshall-Douglass Law School after Frederick Douglass. By keeping the Marshall name, you honor Marshall's contributions to American jurisprudence, but you also rebuke his complicity in slavery by giving Frederick Douglass equal billing. I think this sort of compromise has general application to this sort of controversy.

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  1. It’s inherently unfair to compare the founding fathers who owned slaves to the Nazis. Two reasons:

    First, the Nazis destroyed an existing country while the founding fathers started one. Yes, the Wiemar Republic had its faults, and there had been antisemitism before 1933 — but the Nazis imposed the Nuremberg laws.

    Second, it wasn’t always that much better to be free back then. Read anything by Charles Dickens…

    People like Jefferson felt that they had a duty to properly house, clothe, & feed their slaves — and their dependents should the slave die. Compare that to the North where the family was SOL when the father/husband died in a job-related incident, which was common.

    Over half of all early telephone linemen died on the job from electrocution. Before the introduction of the automatic couplers, railroad workers had to insert a coupling pin to join the coupling — loss of fingers & hands was almost universal, with many being crushed outright — or burnt to death by the venting steam after a derailment. Seafaring was also incredibly dangerous, and as late as the turn of the 20th Century, it was not uncommon for unknown bodies to come floating in on the tide.

    Compare this to Jefferson’s “we must feed, clothe, & house the children…”

    1. People like Jefferson felt that they had a duty to properly house, clothe, & feed, rape and whip (the children) their slaves.

      FTFY.

      1. Queenie is wrong and filled with hate for our country.

        Upon setting foot in France, as Ambassador, all of Jefferson’s slaves became free. Their children grew up in France for 5 years. When it was time to return, all chose American slavery over French freedom. That included Sally Hemmings, her children, her brother, and the people he sent to French cooking school.

        1. There was a comedian who once wrote (paraphrasing) ‘Conservatives love their country the way a small child loves their parents, they think their folks are perfect and want to fight anyone who says otherwise, liberals love their country the way a grown up loves their parents, keenly aware of their imperfections but loving the good and promise.’

          1. There was a genius who once wrote: “Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”

            He had the better take on the relative mindsets than your unfunny comedian.

            1. That particular line may not be funny in the sense of hilarity, but it’s dead on accurate. Liberals see America as an adolescent who is making all the wrong choices. It’s because we love America and know it could do better that we speak up.

              1. And it’s because you love America that you cancel anyone who disagrees with you? You sound like an abusive parent to me.

                1. “Cancel’ at this point is like a right wing forbidden Harry Potter spell that blasts innocent people who disagree with liberals into photons. Canceliramius!

                2. Oh stop it.

                  You have nutball state legislators trying to cancel anything they don’t like, whether they know anything about it or not, and you’re complaining about liberals cancelling people?
                  Here’s a typical moron in Idaho.

                  Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin announced a task force earlier this month, aiming to “examine indoctrination in Idaho education and to protect our young people from the scourge of critical race theory, socialism, communism, and Marxism.”

                  “As I have traveled around the state and spoken with constituents and parents, it has become clear to me that this is one of the most significant threats facing our society today,” McGeachin said in a news release. “We must find where these insidious theories and philosophies are lurking and excise them from our education system.”

                  Conservatives might look inward before concluding that it’s liberals who are stupid. Go talk to MTG.

                3. “And it’s because you love America that you cancel anyone who disagrees with you?”

                  It’s what your team claimed when THEY were the ones doing the cancelling. McCarthy was practically dripping with love of America.

              2. Socialists and big centralized government imperialists always think they know what “wrong choices” are but really, they know nothing and have no care for liberty.

            2. That slogan is a bit outdated. “Woke” ideology has turned the so-called liberals both illiberal and evil to the core. Those who are not willing to let us stay the way we’ve always been, are not opponents with whom one can agree to disagree. They are a menace.

              1. Woke is Marxist and agent of the Chinese Commie Party. Zero tolerance for woke. It zhould start with lawfare against woke and the billionaire oligarchs drivung it. Seize their assets in civil forfeiture. If that does not work, and we are turning Commie, visit them. If that fails, violence has justification in formal logic. Formal logic has more certainty than the laws of physics.

                1. Formal logic alone can’t ethically justify anything.

              2. “Those who are not willing to let us stay the way we’ve always been, are not opponents with whom one can agree to disagree. ”

                Uh, some pretty serious things needed (and to some degree still need) in this country, you’re proving my point to say otherwise. Finding people who might be extreme on this to be the ‘evil’ in this world is more than a bit much.

          2. Maybe the slaves of Jefferson knew something the Marxists don’t.

            1. Maybe they knew the French Revolution was coming.

          3. No, libs want to impose their sicko Marxist doctrines and boss everyone around. Of course, the elite does well under the Commies, but everyone else is in abject poverty. Marxists must be cancelled in the USA.

          4. And progressives hate their country the way adolescents hate their parents: full of selfishness and self-righteousness, while absolutely certain that the parents are driven by spite and ignorance.

            1. I don’t think progressives wanting America to do better is hating their country. I think you’ve got it backward. The tantrum-throwing toddlers who make up the Trump wing are enraged that people who care more about them than they care about themselves want them to make better choices.

              1. K_2,
                Please do not write out the full name of the T-person.
                He is an abomination that is best buried in the putrid trash heap of history

                1. Donnie. President Trump was the greatest President. Only Washington was greater. He accomplished more, including for all Democrat constituencies than any other President. He was taken down by the tech billionaire collaborators with the Chinese Communist Party. They used their media and the Democrat Party to destroy his economic achievements, and to get rid of him. They scored $1.7 trillion extra wealth in 2020. Their Chinese overlosrd scored $2 trillion from the lockdown.

                  Payback should show these traitors no mercy.

                  1. Cuckoo for CoCo Puffs is at it again!

                    1. For Dems, the mirror is painful punishment.

                    2. Crazy Cockatoo thinks he’s pretty!

                  2. T was the greatest schmuck ever to occupy the White House. Perhaps he was the Manchurian Candidate of Democrats as he certainly did more than anyone alive to assure that the Republicans would be a permanently minority party.

                    1. Republicans were cheated by the lockdown, after the best Presidential performance in history. Only Washington was greater, then only by his leaving, and by his refusing to become king.

                  3. I’m with Daivd.

                    1. You’re a deranged authoritarian shitposter too?

                  4. “Donnie. President Trump was the greatest President.”

                    He’s on the list of the top 46, until we elect another one.

                2. TRUMP 2024 — let’s win a third time…..

                  1. You mis-spelled “lose”……

                3. Yet, Don, Mr. T is a great hero and martyr to a majority of conservatives and Republicans, a huge number of whom seem to believe he was cheated out of re-election.

                  1. He WAS cheated. Those DARN Democrats actually counted all the votes that came from black people, if you can believe that such a thing was possible in America.

        2. Read the article I posted — written by highly respected historians.

          Apparently, it was illegal to free a slave in Virginia at the time — and when you look at Crispus Attucks, a slave that no one in Boston really wanted back because of his behavior, you can understand why.

          1. No one wants you back, either.

        3. You may want to try the mute function. I added a second to the list of those I mute. Not reading the exact same drivel, using different words, is a time saver.

      2. Hah.
        I have little sympathy for the mock outrage about people who lived honorable lives consistent with the morals and mores of their times. And how easy it is in the comfort of your study 300 years later to be smug and self-congratulatory about your newly woke sense of justice.

    2. That’s so so many Northern white workers, not to mention free people of color, begged to be enslaved.

      1. In many cases, they signed bills of indenture to get over here…

      2. If those were the choices, that just means the US was an oppressive exploitative hellhole.

    3. Congratulations on mounting such a terrible defense of the Founders that you’re making me wonder whether they should have been cancelled after all.

    4. Can’t agree with you on point 1 — it assumes the various Native American nations didn’t exist. Most of which were civilized before we got there.

      1. “Civilized”?!?

        1. Yes, there were cities in America before the white folks showed up.

    5. That’s why all those black workers in the North went to the South to be slaves. Think of the monster, Harriet Tubman, who so hated black people that she risked her life to send the happy slaves to starve to death in the employ of cruel and unfeeling capitalists.

      George Fitzhugh made that idiotic argument in the 1840’s and he was full of crap then. Making that argument now is even more ridiculous.

  2. Not only that, put a statute in front of the school of Marshall and Douglass shaking hands, with a grotesquely forced smile on Marshall’s face.

    1. Of course if you preach smug mockery, why not go all the way.

      Leave the name and put up a statue of Thurgood Marshall in front of the building

      1. Call it a Civil War memorial, and the Conservatives won’t let you take it back down.

  3. You are attempting a compromise, with folks who aren’t interested. The mere fact you aren’t laying down in traffic for them means you’re not on their side. This is tribalism writ large. The left wants adherents to their ideology and renaming is a loyalty test.

    1. “This is tribalism writ large.”

      Lol, yes, and the reverence leading to monuments, statues and honorifics in the first place wasn’t.

      1. ” reverence leading to monuments, statues ”
        You have actually made no case, inductive or deductive, that it was tribalism.

        1. Southerners erected monuments to Southerners (those that fought for the seceded states) and Americans put up monuments to American heroes. There’s a lot of tribalism in that.

          1. What about the Lincoln memorial?

            1. What about it?

              1. You think that is tribalism?

                1. “You think that is tribalism?”

                  It is. the Lincoln Memorial was built by Americans, for Americans.

              2. But then you knew what I meant and did not want to answer.

            2. A monument to the guy who cancelled the South?

              1. You didn’t get the question nor did you answer it in any sane way.

                1. To be fair, it wasn’t much of a question.

    2. They aren’t interested in your compliance either. They will simply make more and crazier demands until you can’t. Then they publicly shame and cancel you. It’s the Chinese Cultural Revolution come to the US and that’s no exaggeration, as soon as they have the means in place.

      1. That’s a big exaggeration actually.

  4. This is a very thoughtful post by DB.

    1. How did you edit your comment? I thought there was no edit function.

  5. The irony is that the Left’s saints are problematic too but without the excuse of modern hindsight. Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, Harvey Milk was a groomer, MLK was an abusive sex fiend, Matthew Shepard was a druggie who got killed in a bad deal not some martyr for gay rights.

    1. And Charlie Shepard a child molester who was murdered by two older friends of his victim.

      No, that’s not the way that should have been dealt with, but that’s what was really involved.

      Besides, what idiot, in less than three feet of water, doesn’t simply stand up and wade ashore…. IT WAS LOW TIDE…

    2. Oliver Wendel Holmes was also a eugenicist. FDR sent tens of thousands of Americans to concentration camps because of their race.

    3. You can make anyone look bad if you invent stuff about them out of thin air. No, wait, you can make yourself look bad when you do that.

      Seriously, how nasty a person do you have to be to start making up that kind of nonsense?

      1. point out the part I made up ‘out of thin air’.

        1. “point out the part I made up ‘out of thin air”

          You know which bit.

          “Harvey Milk was a groomer, MLK was an abusive sex fiend, Matthew Shepard was a druggie who got killed in a bad deal not some martyr for gay rights”

          Who says such vile things, knowing them to be untrue?

          1. The MLK sex stuff was recorded by Hoover, QED it happened.
            The plagiarism was discovered accidentally by a Black historian summarizing King’s papers for publication — and then was found to not only be his dissertation but all the way back to his undergrad days.

            Matthew Shepard’s involvement in a drug deal gone bad is well documented. Etc.

      2. Actually Dave.
        You don’t have to make up anything to do that.

      3. It can go either way. Depending mostly on who believes the media that each side controls. America will not heal until most of its population figures out for themselves that none of the major media, and almost none of their pundits, is to be trusted.

        1. The press are not perfect but they generally perform an incredibly vital function in our (and any) democracy.

          1. Except for C-SPAN, the press is straight hate speech and garbage. The David Duke website is more ethical, being honest in its hate, and not trying to kid the public.

    4. “The irony is that the Left’s saints are problematic too”

      But not the Right’s saints. St. Ronnie was never divorced. Nuh-uh!

  6. So I am a JMLS alumni and I attended the task force talk and it got sorta heated. I tried to get a copy of the tape because it was recorded but U of I, in complete derogation of FOIA and Sunshine Law Principles, claimed a FERPA exemption and refused to release it.
    I told Professor Jones that there was no information learned here. John Marshall was always a slaveholder and the law school has praised continuously over the years knowing full well of his controversial opinions, like the one disparaging Native American Property rights in Johnson v. McIntosh. Around the time of merger, I had notified the Board of Trustees as to this point and that I was worried the law school name would change. I was ignored.

    At the time of the UIC-JMLS merger, I emailed Darby Dickerson and told her that I saw the whole merger as a bait and switch to rename the law school UIC Law.

    My biggest issue with the name change is that I had heard that there were JMLS faculty discussions about it prior to the merger with UIC but that they decided to hold them off–presumably until the timing was right post-merger. I asked Professor Jones about this during the recording and he told me “I don’t recall.”

    John Marshall was a bigotted, racist slaveholder. No doubt. But as a JMLS alum, people actually do not affiliate the degree with him but, rather, with an institution. I see this argument pitched all the time for Yale and the big places. God help them if they ever changed their names. Now, after taking student loan money from so many alumni, all of the alumni are left with a now defunct law school. That’s the real tragedy.

    The whole task force was just pretext to get rid of the John Marshall name for the sake of prestige and rankings. If they really cared, it would have happened earlier and it would have mentioned Johnson v. McIntosh.

    Also, in forbes: Professor Jones reports that it mattered that John Marshall did not donate to the school. That makes no sense. So is he saying that the law school would keep the John Marshall namesake, in spite of slave ownership, controversial opinions, etc ? What an insult to the students and alumni to know that that was even a consideration.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2021/05/21/why-chief-justice-john-marshalls-name-was-dropped-from-university-of-illinois-chicago-law-school/?sh=18a9e1bd2687

    I wish UIC-JMLS well as it works on its integrity issues.

    1. I appreciate this insider information.

      Judicial review is lawless, treasonous and an unmitigated catastrophe. Yet, Marshall affirmed civil forfeiture. It is the path to seizing the assets of the tech billionaires and of the oligarchy.

    2. Don’t send any more alumni contributions.

      1. Lol I would never. Not just because I don’t have the money, but they don’t need it. Law schools are rich. The faculty of UIC-JIMLS might as well continue to cry their crocodile tears over John Marshall all the way to the bank. It’s completely in their self-interest to do so. It’s sad that none of them can even see the issue that they creating for their alumni–that degrees are not statues or buildings that should be renamed but are actually a reflection of one’s own academic achievement buttressed by the credibility provided from the long-standing degree-granting institution. JMLS is an anomaly in that most other faculty at other academic institutions appreciate and respect this principle.

        Darby Dickerson talks a good game about stopping the “caste system” at law schools but she clearly struggles putting theory into practice. She implemented a first-of-its-kind name change that devalued the degrees of alumni who had forked over hundreds of thousands so law professors could have their cocktails and fancy dinners.

        This is all further evident in that no actual academics, historians or humanists were put on their task force. . I promise you, a humanist would critically think, contextualize and understand the problems I have raised without finding them invalid in the name of an opportunistic and convenient agenda. They would think about the effect on ex-students who put money on a JMLS degree and what all this actually means for higher education and the Academy.

        To the JMLS faculty and this task force. History is just a means to an end. Nothing more. They do not care about Black students in making their name change. They did it because they couldn’t face their own music about JMLS being a practice-ready law school they did not sufficiently emulate Harvard and Yale.

        I’m ashamed I ever went there.

    3. There is no greater tragedy in our country than slavery. When I wrote in my previous comment,”That’s the real tragedy, ” I meant that it should not be tragic that we are no longer honoring John Marshall but that the “real tragedy” in removing the John Marshall Law School name was the devaluation of the degree held by student loan debtors. I was never a John Marshall fan and I do not support upholding the legacy of John Marshall as he was a slaveowner and white supremacist. But again, the John Marshall Law School is not John Marshall. Diplomas are not statutes or buildings. Name changes affect graduates and that should have been discussed/explored more by UIC.

    4. There is no greater tragedy in our country than slavery. When I wrote in my previous comment,”That’s the real tragedy, ” I meant that it should not be tragic that we are no longer honoring John Marshall but that the “real tragedy” in removing the John Marshall Law School name was the devaluation of the degree held by student loan debtors. I was never a John Marshall fan and I do not support upholding the legacy of John Marshall as he was a slaveowner and white supremacist. But again, the John Marshall Law School is not John Marshall. Diplomas are not statutes or buildings. Name changes affect graduates and that should have been discussed/explored more by UIC.

  7. If you’re going to honor an “abolitionist champion,” how about a lawyer?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Morris_(lawyer)

    Of course, I hear he was a Republican. They can keep that part quiet.

    1. A woke Republican? Who’d want to keep that quiet?

      1. You mean he supported gay marriage and transgender rights?

        1. You might mean that, I wouldn’t be inclined to speculate.

          1. What makes him woke?

  8. How about Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis , who resigned his SCOTUS seat in protest of the Dred Scott decision?

    See: https://reason.com/volokh/2020/09/30/today-in-supreme-court-history-september-30-1857/

  9. Now the school can resell the naming rights for a large endowment.

    1. Better check with #MeToo before naming a school after a billionaire.

    2. That is the way that it is usually done at savvy universities.

  10. So when do we get to use the moral relativism game to remove others things we don’t like? Time for all the MLK Blvds to come on down because he was a no good commie, philandering, racist!

    1. Plagiarist as well.

      As someone who actually wrote a 203 page dissertation, I resent this more than his philandering and political views

      1. Conservatives like Jimmy and Ed have such broken moral senses that they really think plagiarism and philandering are as bad as owning other human beings.

        1. Isn’t that the beauty of the moral relativism at work here? You just do whatever feels good…

          1. What feels good is winning the culture war, shaping our national progress against the wishes of our vestigial bigots, and stomping conservatism into submission in the not-over-but-settled American culture war.

            You — and the other clingers — wouldn’t understand.

          2. Uh, you’re the relativist here (arguing we can’t judge people from other culture/times).

            1. I think they ought to be judged by times in which they lived, not what we think it so-called “virtuous” in our own time.

              So when the times comes to hold all the “woke” and “anti-racists” accountable for their hate and bigotry, I’m sure you will be one of the first to hop on the “we have a moral imperative to do this!” bandwagon, right?

              1. “I think they ought to be judged by times in which they lived, not what we think it so-called “virtuous” in our own time.”

                Yeah, that’s exactly what moral relativism is, that what is wrong or right is a function of time/culture.

                1. Not really, but if that is what you think how about you just do you.

                  1. No, that’s exactly what it is, you’re just embarrassed you stepped in it so publicly.

                    1. Learn how to work the internet before making such broad sweeping statements. Pro tip – you will look like less of a fool if you do.

                    2. You are wrong QA.
                      Changing mores do not necessarily mean different underlying ethical standards. although they could in some areas
                      Nonetheless, I do not buy that in the 21st century in America the left owns revealed moral truth. After all that is what wokism implies.

                    3. “Pro tip – you will look like less of a fool if you do.”

                      So at some point in time, you’re going to look like less of a fool?

                2. I’d say it is your moral relativism to defend the American concept of abortion rights.
                  And you’ll likely reply that you just know the truth and expect me to ignore what I see as your little moral flaw.

        2. Leftists like QA have a myopic view of what constituted “ownership.”

          Hint: What do you think “I owe my soul to the company store” *meant*?

          1. “What do you think “I owe my soul to the company store” *meant*?”

            It meant that Mr. Ford couldn’t find a better rhyme for “I can’t go”.

        3. “are as bad as owning other human beings.”
          or murdering a human being 6 inches away from existing its mother.

          Do you want to expound on the structure of your scale of sin?
          And explain how you came to know that your scale is the correct one? Rather that that of Ed or Jimmy or myself, even.

          Personally I don’t care about the name of the Law School I do find offensive the self-righteousness of those who have been promoting such changes based on their newly discovered mock outrage.
          If the university wants to change the name, at least it should have a good reason such as a donor giving $50 Million to the school.

      2. “As someone who actually wrote a 203 page dissertation”
        Not that the size is anything unusual for the most mediocre work.

        1. No matter how mediocre, it would have been a hell of a lot easier to simply copy it.

          1. Just do what leftists do and make up some intellectual sounding diversity garbage. Like “Toward a Genderless Society: Unpacking Privilege and Scientific Relativism in a World Centered Around Two Chromosomes”….

          2. A bit off topic.
            Were you a heavy smoker while you were writing your thesis>

  11. Every human has flaws. Great people are those who accomplish good that outweighs their flaws where that good is the foundation for more good that follows.

    1. Unfortunately the gospel of the woke does not recognize your insight

    2. “You see, that there is some of that nuance stuff I was warning you about.”

    3. No, every person commits 3 federal felonies a day. Lend me your laptop for an hour, I can get you decades in prison, and $millions in fines. This is from the toxic, traitor lawyer profession. Return the lawfare and crush this most toxic occupation in the country, 10 times more toxic than organized crime.

    4. “Every human has flaws.”

      Yeah, what’s a little flaw like owning and trading human beings?

      1. What’s your attitude toward Muslims, Queen A?

        This is not an irrelevant tangent. It is well known fact (but maybe not on the left) that all the Africans who captured slaves and sold them to traders from the New World were Muslims. And they’re still doing it today, though the trade today is limited to customers in African and/or Muslim countries. The Quran upholds the practice.

        So: do Muslims deserve a free pass from “cancellation” for owning and trading slaves because of their religion?

        1. It’s irrelevant in the sense that ‘Muslims’ are a group of about a billion individuals. Some individual Muslims are certainly bad many others are not. It’s a wacky analogy to compare such a large group to an individual who owned slaves.

        2. “It is well known fact (but maybe not on the left) that all the Africans who captured slaves and sold them to traders from the New World were Muslims”

          That’s utter nonsense. Some small minority were. By no means any large proportion, let alone all.

        3. “This is not an irrelevant tangent. It is well known fact (but maybe not on the left) that all the Africans who captured slaves and sold them to traders from the New World were Muslims. And they’re still doing it today, though the trade today is limited to customers in African and/or Muslim countries. The Quran upholds the practice.”

          This is one of those well-known facts that is only known by people who really, really WANT it to be true.
          meanwhile, the Europeans who bought all those slaves were claiming to be Christian at the time.
          the slavers had all sorts of Bible verses that supported what they were up to.

      2. Or the myopic view that you could only “own” another human being directly, not indirectly.

        Coal mine ownership of humans through debt, good…..

  12. This is what the Volokh Conspiracy could be.

    Thank you, professor.

  13. Cancel law school. The law is a relic of white supremacy. Indeed, cancel the entire western European model of education. Cancel the English language. Cancel Arabic numbers: Arabs were involved in the slave trade; slavery was still legal in Saudi Arabia until 1962. Cancel calculus because Isaac Newton was a white supremacist.

    1. Good idea. Start by cancelling the racist lawyer profession. Arrest its 25000 strong hierarchy and send them to federal prison, after an hour’s trial. The sole evidence would be their legal utterances.

    2. I realize some people are easily triggered, but Marshall has not been ‘canceled’ here. They are going to talk about him all the time at the school, they just decided not to honor him in this fashion.

      1. If you believe that I have an igloo in Florida to sell you….

        1. I don’t believe it I know it. No one is talking about talking about Marshall in classrooms and such they just don’t want to honor him by having the institution named after him.

          1. “No one is taking about Marshall in classrooms and such”

            They must be a very bad law school, then, because it’s really hard to get a clear understanding of the US legal assistant, and particularly of the federally judiciary’s role, without a fair amount of discussion of John Marshall.

        2. You don’t think they will discuss Marshall’s opinions or his role in legal history?

          1. Everyone knows that in law school, you can’t discuss anyone who doesn’t have a whole law school named after them.

  14. Douglas was an insurrectionist…let’s not forget the insane murderer John Brown briefed Douglas on his Harper’s Ferry Raid and asked him to join. Douglas was smart enough to refuse but when Brown was captured, Fredrick was afraid Brown would tell the authorities that he knew and as fast as he could he left Rochester NY for Canada…The Harper’s Ferry raid was treason and the irony was the first person killed by Brown’s men was a free Black Man.

    1. I would say the requirements of Just War would be met by Brown’s slave-insurrection plans, except for the part about reasonable probability of success, which is the very point on which Douglass disagreed with Brown’s plan. And Douglass was quite correct.

      In any case, there soon was a war far more bloody than the Brown thing. And in the providence of God, it ended with slavery extirpated. Which isn’t to say that this was the best way of doing it, it’s just that it’s the way it was done.

      And to get to the point, supporters of one sider or other in the Civil War were at the very least just as violent minded as Douglass with his flirtation with Brown.

    2. “Douglas was an insurrectionist…[…]. Douglas was smart enough to refuse”

      The insurrectionists that are smart enough to refuse to join insurrections are the very worst kind.

  15. And Marshall was the first problem in the SC…Jefferson never liked him and this whole idea of the SC deciding if a Federal law is constitutional has been nothing but a failure in terms of our liberty. The States decide if a federal law is constitutional not a branch of the Fed govt.

  16. Is William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law next? (I assume that George Wyrhe was a slaveholder–excuse me, an enslaver–and therefore deserves to be cancelled just as much as John Marshall.

    (But if we go down that route, I would want to see the name of William and Mary itself changed. It’s unwelcoming and exclusionary for Irish-Americans to attend a school named after King Billy, not to mention triggering memories of the Battle of the Boyne and all the ways Orangemen have rubbed Irish Nationalist noses into that victory ever since.)

  17. I think the general principle should be that we shouldn’t commemorate people for the dishonorable things they’ve done, but it’s fine to commemorate the same people for the honorable things they’ve done. Nearly all of the statues of Confederate leaders should come down, because the Lost Cause was an Evil Cause; but Matthew Maury’s statue in Richmond should have been an exception, because it principally honored him as a oceanographer. Columbus Day should stop immediately, since Columbus’ voyages to America cannot be separated from his depravations against the people he found there; but Jefferson should remain on the nickel and on the Tidal Basin, because his great achievements toward American independence and liberty stand apart from his slaveholding. The Volkswagen may keep its name.

    By this standard, I have no problem with a law school being named after the first important American jurist.

    1. “By this standard, I have no problem with a law school being named after the first important American jurist.”

      It’s their law school, and they can call it any damn thing they want.

  18. Just when I think that there has come an end to extortionate demands to revise history (but only to vilify Caucasian males), there is yet another demand. I will adjust my thinking. Such demands will never end, not for so long as they are readily met.

    1. Where, exactly, did you see a demand to revise history? (extortionate or otherwise?)

  19. The analogy drawn between slave-holding and Nazism is inapt. This ought to be reconsidered, if only to reach for some semblance of intellectual integrity.

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