Rename John Marshall Institutions

Rename John Marshall Institutions

1,581 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
Petition to
Offices of the Dean UIC John Marshall, Cleveland-Marshall & Marshall U

Why this petition matters

Started by Hanna Kassis

As Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Marshall owned 200 slaves, yet 18 schools, including 3 law schools, are named after him. How is that so? Because up until 2018, all the lead "historians" on Marshall failed to mention it in their books etc. They either hid it or didn't seek the truth.

It wasn't until 2018 that people really knew how bad Marshall's slave ownership was. Thanks to Dr. Paul Finkelman. All the lead "scholars" before him either denied or buried the fact that he was a slave master who traded in slaves. To this day, those same scholars fail to recognize the truth. Meanwhile 18 schools carry on Marshall's name.

Marshall's opinions upheld slavery, denied many freedom, and supported the slave trade. See the cases below. His opinions are tainted by his bias toward being a slave master.

Marshall ripped apart families when he needed money by selling slaves. He had two notions of justice. Yet 18 schools are named after him, including three law schools!

John Marshall Law School, Atlanta
Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania
Marshall University, West Virginia
John Marshall High School, Oklahoma City, OK
John Marshall High School, Glen Dale, WV
John Marshall High School, Richmond, VA
John Marshall High School, Los Angeles, CA
John Marshall High School, San Antonio, TX
John Marshall High School, Rochester, MN
John Marshall High School, Bend, OR
John Marshall High School, Milwaukee, WS
Marshall Metro High School, Chicago, IL
John Marshall Elementary School, Philadelphia, PA
John Marshall Elementary School, Edison, NJ
John Marshall Elementary School, Elizabeth, NJ
John Marshall Elementary School, Wasau, WS

We petition the 18 Marshall Schools to change their names. So far, two of the law schools have formed committees to do so. We call on the rest to follow their lead - nationwide.

Why rename Marshall institutions? One word - ethos

The name of our schools represents our ethos as a society. What do we believe in, as a society? Let's ask what that is, and be honest with ourselves when we do.

We believe John Marshall's true self - which "scholars" denied us the history of knowing - is inconsistent with our ethos.

Therefore, Marshall institutions need to rename. Whether they do or not is ultimately on them, but Marshall institutions need to honestly evaluate their role in perpetuating systemic racism, be it conscious or unconscious.

-Hanna Kassis, Esq. with

Sunga Mkwezalamba, Esq. & Attorney-at-Law

Marvet Sweis Drnovsek, Esq. & Attorney-at-Law

Alex Kosyla, Esq. & Attorney-at-Law

Jeremy Lemmons, Esq. & Attorney-at-Law


Below are cases where Marshall was bias in favor of his slave owner, across 3 broad categories we've identified.

Biased legal technicalities - Marshall often using legal technicalities and trickery to reverse lower-court decisions that ruled in favor of freedom

Mason v. Matilda

Wood v. Davis

Mima Queen v. Hepburn

Scott v. Negro London

"Slaves are property" - Marshall upheld the notion that slaves are chattel property of slave owners

Hamilton v. Russel

"Natives don't have any rights" - Marshall often upheld the notion that Native Americans have no claim to their land, by using legal trickery to reverse lower-court decisions or simply refusing to hear the case

Fletcher v. Peck

Johnson v. M’Intosh

Worcester v. Virginia

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia


1,581 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!