George Mason University law school receives largest donation in school’s history from estate of far-right judge
Nick Barrickman and Rhiannon Jones
13 April 2019
In early March, George Mason University (GMU), the publicly funded research university based in Fairfax, Virginia, announced that its Antonin Scalia Law School had received a record-breaking donation of $50 million from the estate of the late Judge Allison Rouse and his wife Dorothy Rouse.
Allison Rouse was a conservative judge appointed to the California Court of Appeals under Republican governor Ronald Reagan in 1971. The donation gives permanent endowments to 13 new faculty positions at the law school and will further serve to consolidate its explicitly right-wing character.
“Judge Rouse and Justice Scalia were both appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan, and Mrs. Rouse was an enthusiastic fan of Justice Scalia,” gushed law school dean Henry N. Butler of the donation. “This is a transformational gift that will further strengthen our law school’s position among the best in the nation and will provide a strong foundation for our university,” GMU president Angel Cabrera added in a law school press release.
The Rouse estate also left the Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank which famously played a role in policy-making during the Reagan administration, a huge bequest of $43 million.
GMU’s law school was renamed after the ultra-reactionary Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia following his death in 2016 as a result of an anonymous donation of $20 million. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed the donation came from individuals tied to the conservative Federalist Society, as well as an additional $10 million coming from the Koch Foundation.
With an influx of money from…