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Rhodes College Alumni Petition College to Remove Honor for Barrett

August 10, 2022

Alumni of Rhodes College are petitioning the college to stop honoring one of its alumni, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, in the Rhodes Hall of Fame, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

The alumni say Barrett is dishonest, in violation of the Rhodes Honor Code.

The petition said: "During her Supreme Court confirmation hearings the then-nominee was asked several questions, based on her prior scholarly writings and her close relationship with late Justice Antonin Scalia, regarding whether she would follow prior Supreme Court precedent if appointed to the nation's highest court. As she explained, 'precedent is the principle that cases that have been decided by the court before [this one] lands on the docket are presumptively controlling' and that precedent comes from a concept legal scholars call stare decisis. Stare decisis means that a justice is not going to overrule precedent without clear 'justification for doing so.'"

The petition also said: "In response to an inquiry as to whether she would uphold Supreme Court precedent, Justice Barrett committed to 'obey all the rules of stare decisis if a question comes up before me.'"

She nonetheless voted recently throw out the Roe vs. Wade decision.

A spokesperson for Rhodes said: "We are aware that some alumni are soliciting signatures for a letter regarding Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The letter has not yet been delivered to Rhodes, so we have no comment at this time."


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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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