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Federalists Buy Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason U

The State of Virginia has some great schools. University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are certainly considered in the group of top Universities in the country. Fast rising Virginia Commonwealth University has emerged from being a sleepy inner city school in Richmond, whose Medical College of Virginia and Computer Digital Arts Programs make significant contributions to the state. Both UVA and VA Tech have opened extension campuses in Northern Virginia to serve the Washington Area’s needs for Undergrad and Grad worker in the high tech and STEM Fields.Nearby University of Maryland is a powerhouse, with highly noted programs in Computer Software, Artificial Intelligence, and the STEM Fields.

Then there is George Mason, a commuter school which seems utterly disconnected from the high tech region which the college supposedly serves.

Why?

Funding. George Mason has been the darling of conservative donors for the past 20 years. Major donations each year from folks like the Scaife Foundation fund “academic” chairs in Economics for folks like black conservative Walter Williams. The Law School has a large an active Federalist Society, a racist group in suits which pursues legalized Jim Crow. No wonder the school recently received a $30 million donation from the Koch Brothers and an anonymous donor to name the Law School after Scalia.

ASS Law…Indeed.

Scalia School of Law Renamed to Avoid Vulgar Acronym

What’s in a name? Just ask George Mason Universityofficials, who announced last week the law school would be renamed to honor the late U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

Officials said on March 31 the new name would be the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University.

Social media, predictably, erupted over the acronym, which became the subject of ridicule, so officials at the Washington area school quickly decided to change the name.

“The name initially announced… has caused some acronym controversy on social media. The Antonin Scalia Law School is a logical substitute. We anticipate the naming will be effective on July 1, 2016 pending final approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia,” the school’s dean, Henry Butler, said in a letter to students and alumni.

The law school was first prompted to change its name after receiving $30 million in donations, $10 million of which came from the Charles Koch Foundation and the other $20 million from an unnamed donor.

 

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Scalia and Thomas Dine With Plaintiffs Before Hearing Their Case…

The most reliable in-the-pocket judges took some time out to have dinner with one of the parties appearing before their court later this month…

At the far right wing Federalist Society.

Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

The occasion was last Thursday, when all nine justices met for a conference to pore over the petitions for review. One of the cases at issue was a suit brought by 26 states challenging the sweeping healthcare overhaul passed by Congress last year, a law that has been a rallying cry for conservative activists nationwide.

The justices agreed to hear the suit; indeed, a landmark 5 1/2-hour argument is expected in March, and the outcome is likely to further roil the 2012 presidential race, which will be in full swing by the time the court’s decision is released.

The lawyer who will stand before the court and argue that the law should be thrown out is likely to be Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general during the George W. Bushadministration.

Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles. Another firm that sponsored the dinner, Jones Day, represents one of the trade associations that challenged the law, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Another sponsor was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, which has an enormous financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. The dinner was held at a Washington hotel hours after the court’s conference over the case. In attendance was, among others, Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican and an avowed opponent of the healthcare law.

The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

Scalia and Thomas have shown little regard for critics who say they too readily mix the business of the court with agenda-driven groups such as the Federalist Society. And Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a high-profile conservative activist.

 

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