Contemporary off the scoop that Federalist Society mastermind Leonard Leo won a $1.6 billion donation via his “Marble Freedom Believe” from electronics rich person Barre Seid, Professional Publica and The Lever have an in-depth dive into Seid’s penchant for conservative philanthropy. In keeping with the record, the billionaire engages in “assault philanthropy,” and has funded a spread of far-right reasons together with local weather deniers, industry deregulation, and opposing Medicare growth.
However of probably the most relevance to Above the Regulation readers is Seid’s involvement within the 2016 rebrand of George Mason’s legislation faculty to the notorious ASSLaw. Commit it to memory used to be leaked that GMU used to be converting the legislation faculty to the Antonin Scalia College of Regulation, as a result of acronyms had been it seems that too onerous an idea to appreciate. (The college later backtracked off the title, calling it the Antonin Scalia Regulation College, however it perpetually stays ASSLaw in our hearts.)
However now it’s showed that Seid used to be the donor who made ASSLaw imaginable.
The brand new emails, bought via a public data request via ProPublica and The Lever, seem to substantiate that Seid made the donation. The then-dean of the legislation faculty, Henry Butler, emailed Seid in 2019 with a private replace “on growth that we made at Scalia Regulation for the reason that naming present,” explaining that it had impressed every other, higher donation. “Thanks on your beneficiant make stronger,” Butler added. (Butler and a spokesperson for GMU didn’t reply to requests for remark.)
In reaction, Seid mentioned he would “talk about this with Leonard in a while,” it seems that a connection with Leonard Leo.
However cash that massive doesn’t come with out a couple of strings.
He then requested the dean for a private want: serving to his nephew get into legislation faculty.
“One after the other, do you continue to have helpful connections at Northwestern Regulation? I’ve Nepot with LSAT 167,” Seid wrote, the use of an archaic time period for nephew.
“Glad to check out to lend a hand at Northwestern. I’ve a number of just right buddies at the school at Northwestern,” Butler wrote, then added: “Please inform him that he has a full-ride at Scalia Regulation the place he can take lessons from Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Kavanagh [sic]. Onward and Upward!”
[Also, aside: what kind of wannabe right-wing muckety muck spells Kavanaugh’s name wrong?]
This sort of wealthy and robust again scratching is all too not unusual, however infrequently mentioned. But it surely’s essential to throw the highlight on all this bullshit. As a result of consider, conservatives are determined for white center The united states to imagine it’s affirmative motion final the door on their desires of an elite faculty acceptance, now not wealthy uncles pulling strings for his or her nephew to get into Northwestern (with sfrivolously under moderate LSAT ratings for that yr, via the best way). And spot how wealthy persons are in a position to attain complete rides — with out in truth attempting — to legislation faculty, however it’s the $10,000 in pupil mortgage forgiveness this is destroying private accountability. Ok, positive.
The Professional Publica article main points the intensive steps Seid took to stay within the shadows and to cover his id. However the affect he wields is anything else however hidden.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Regulation, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Considering Like A Attorney. AtL tipsters are the most productive, so please attach together with her. Be happy to electronic mail her with any guidelines, questions, or feedback and apply her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).