Harvard Law Refuses to Explain Why Scalia Professorship Remains Unfilled

late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
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Harvard Law School is refusing to explain why a professorship named after late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been left unfilled for almost three years.

According to a report by the College Fix, Harvard University won’t explain why they haven’t filled a law school professorship that was named after the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The position, which was created in 2017, has yet to be filled.

“Filling this Chair with someone whose appointment would honor the Justice’s great legacy is two and a half years overdue,” first-year law student Eli Nachmany said.

Harvard announced last week that Harvard Law School would release a collection of papers from Justice Scalia’s 30-year-career on the United States Supreme Court. The professorship was created as part of an agreement with Scalia’s family in which they agreed to donate his collection of papers to the university. News about the release of the Scalia collection reignited criticisms over the school’s failure to fill the professorship.

Martha Minow, who was serving as dean of the law school when the professorship was announced, praised Scalia as a man who loved to learn.

“He also had a great love of learning, so it is especially meaningful that he will be honored with a professorship that will provide enduring support for teaching and scholarship at the Law School and beyond,” Minow said in 2017. The Scalia professorship “stands as both a testament to Justice Scalia’s legacy on the Supreme Court and as a vote of confidence in a new generation of scholars.”

Nachmany has started a campaign to remind Harvard of its duty to fill the professorship. In a brief comment to the College Fix, Nachmany argued that students are currently being deprived of the important legal perspective that Scalia brought to the court.

Originalism is the prevailing method of jurisprudence on the Supreme Court, and is the philosophy of many lower court judges now that President Trump has remade the federal judiciary. Harvard Law School would do its students a great service by hiring originalist scholars onto the faculty, and the Scalia Chair offers a unique opportunity for the school to do that in the here and now.

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