Law School to Remove John Marshall’s Name for Racist Past | Government and Politics
CHICAGO – Trustees at the University of Illinois have voted to remove the name of the oldest chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from the University of Illinois at Chicago Law School after a task force said that John Marshall’s history as a slave owner and trader “made him very inappropriately namesake for law school.”
The University of Illinois at Chicago merged with the private John Marshall Law School in 2019 to create the city’s first public law school, called UIC John Marshall Law School. It will be renamed UI-Chicago School of Law effective July 1, the News-Gazette reported.
The directors’ vote on Thursday follows a months-long review by an academic task force, which voted 6-1 to remove Marshall’s name. The Faculty’s Law School and Senate also voted to change the school’s name, which is separate from the University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana.
The task force report released in February said that despite Marshall’s legacy “as one of the nation’s most prominent United States Supreme Court justices, recently uncovered research regarding his role as that slave trader, slave owner of hundreds of slaves, pro-slavery jurisprudence and racist views make him a highly inappropriate namesake for law school. “
In a statement, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said the name change followed a “thorough and carefully considered process” with contributions from inside and outside the institution and ” examined issues of racial injustice and aimed to ensure that our university continues to be a place where diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity are nurtured and advanced, ”reported The Chicago Sun-Times.