Goodbye John Marshall

Bravo to all involved to make this happen in Illinois. May the decision fuel efforts to abolish “Marshall” from the name of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

While his racist past were deserving grounds for the actions by the UIC Board, we must never forget that the same John Marshall as Supreme Court Chief Justice wrote the majority opinion in Dartmouth College v Woodward in 1819, which established that the the school’s corporate charter was a “contract,” and thus prevented the transition of the private college (charter by the King of England) to a public university.

It changed the relationship between human persons and corporate entities by providing a certain degree of equality vis-a-vis human persons as both were considered “parties” or participants in a contract — compared to a charter where human persons and the state specifically defined/dictated/authorized the boundaries of corporate actions. In this sense, it was this decision that first granted corporate entities “personhood” rights. Thanks to John Marshall and his Supreme Court cohorts.

Another reason to remove his name from any pedestal of honor.

Board approves new name for UIC Law

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