Georgetown Law Students Traumatized by Professor’s Remarks about Scalia

Remarks about Scalia

Many people were saddened by the news of Justice Antonin Scalia's death including the Dean of Georgetown Law School, William M. Treanor. Although Scalia was a controversial justice, Dean Treanor spoke out with nothing but praise for the man who he believed helped to transform the law. Treanor also made remarks about how "we" will all miss him, which was from an official statement by the school. Now there are several law school professors fighting over statements made about Justice Scalia.

Law professors speak out

Mike Seidman and Gary Peller are two Georgetown law professors who actually disagree and did not have great things to say about Scalia, even in the time of his death. They thought it was odd that Dean Treanor would say he was a much beloved character across campus simply because that was his opinion. Seidman was the first to respond by sending an email to Treanor noting his disagreement about Scalia and how the entire college community might not agree either. Professor Peller also responded through an email to both Treanor, as well as the entire law school, stating he believed Scalia's Supreme Court position was one that he should not praise.

Conservative law professors disagree

Randy Barnett and Nick Rosenkranz are also law professors at Georgetown and are more conservative. They believed that Peller's email and negative criticisms of Scalia should not have been sent through email, especially to students of the law school. Students were described as being traumatized, hurt, upset, and downright angry because of the remarks of Professor Peller. These students believe that now, when they attend Peller's class, they can't express free range of emotion and ideas regarding Scalia. Barnett and Rosenkranz say that luckily it was only two professors of the law school who felt this way. They have tried to convince Georgetown law students to stay strong, as Justice Scalia was always strong. Students should not be upset to voice their own opinions of Scalia.

Did the email violate school rules?

Barnett and Rosenkranz went on to say that they believe Professor Peller actually broke a rule enforced by the law school. He violated policies regarding the use of email and what can be sent to students by email. Seidman and Peller fought back to say that they in fact received permission to post their own opinions regarding Scalia's death. Looking at this case, it seems as though one group of individuals had a difference of opinion from another group, and that is okay. These are 20 year old students who are grownups attending a highly successful and prestigious law school. They should be able to understand that everyone has their own opinions, and that doesn't mean they should feel any differently about Justice Scalia. If, from what they have learned at Georgetown and outside of the law school about Justice Scalia, they have determined he was a great leader on the Supreme Court, then the remarks by two of their professors shouldn't change their minds.

What do you think? Were these law students really traumatized by the opinions of two of their professors?