The George Mason School of Law, located in Northern Virginia, has announced that it will be renamed in honor of the late Supreme #Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
George Mason University School of Law (Mason Law) is the law School of George Mason University, a state university in Virginia, United States. The law school is located in Arlington, thirteen miles east of the university’s main campus in Fairfax. George Mason University School of Law was authorized by the Virginia General Assembly in March 1979 and was founded on July 1, 1979. Mason Law was named the 42nd best law school in the country U.S. News and World Report. However, the respected law school recently announced that they would rename the school after the recently deceased, ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. A move, much like the late justice himself, has been met with a considerable amount of controversy.
The university announced that it has received $30 million in combined gifts to the George Mason Foundation to support the law school, the largest gift in the university’s history. The donations make possible three new scholarship programs. Twenty million dollars came from an anonymous donor, and $10 million came from the Charles Koch Foundation, which has given millions of dollars to colleges in the United States. The family is well known for its support of conservative political groups. The Board of Visitors quickly approved the renaming of the school to the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University.
Scalia was a prominent symbol of conservative thought, one who often infuriated liberals. He was known for his support of the principle of “originalism,” or looking to the meaning of the words of the Constitution when it was created, rather than viewing it as a living, changing document. He was known for his dedication to his Catholic faith, and for his opposition to abortion, gay rights and affirmative action. His incisive, intellectual writing helped make him a hero to conservatives.
Scalia was so divisive in his lifetime that even immediately after his death, people were arguing fiercely about his legacy. At Georgetown University, his alma mater, one law school professor objected to the idea of the campus community mourning him, touching off a heated debate. Therefore, the news of the renaming — first reported by Nina Totenberg of NPR — sparked strong reactions.