A decision to rename the George Mason University School of Law after the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will be voted on Tuesday and is drawing opposition from Democrats in Virginia.
After receiving a $10 million grant in late March from the Charles Koch Foundation and an anonymous $20 million grant with the stipulation the school honor Scalia, GMU announced the name change. The opposition argues the law school, which critics charge has a conservative bent, should not be bought by politically charged patrons, reports NBC Washington.
The Koch Brothers regularly draw the ire of Democrats, particularly the progressive wing of the party, for their large contributions to conservative and libertarian causes. The initial announcement provoked Democrats in the House of Delegates to take up the issue and organize an opposition.
“Sign my petition asking The Governor, the State Council on Higher Education and George Mason university not to sell the naming rights to their law school to the Koch [brothers] and an Anonymous Donor,” Delegate Marcus Simon said on his Facebook March 31. “This, unfortunately, is not an April Fool’s day joke.”
George Mason’s academic affairs committee will review the proposed name change Monday. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia will take up the issue Tuesday and the community will have a chance to voice their opinion Tuesday morning before the hearing. Critics of the plan are expected to voice their opposition to naming the law school after Justice Scalia.
“I realize its a long shot but I’ve got about 1,300 petitions to deliver,” Simon said Sunday on Facebook. “As your representative in Richmond I think its my job to call out a bad deal when I see one. George Mason is still a Public University. If the Koch’s and their friends want their own law school, let them start one, or buy one. Let’s not let them leverage $30 million to buy ours.”
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