Law school faculty push to rescind attorney general’s honorary degree

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Law school faculty are debating several considerations including whether Barr abused his authority.

Updated: June 8, 2020 at 10:04 p.m.

GW Law faculty are pushing officials to rescind Attorney General William Barr’s honorary degree after Barr ordered protesters in front of the White House to be dispersed, Forbes reported Friday.

Barr told law enforcement last Monday to break up a protest in Lafayette Square to make way for President Donald Trump’s photo op in front of St. John’s Church. He said at a news conference Thursday that the protests over recent events of police brutality were “becoming increasingly unruly,” even though cell phone videos of the demonstration showed otherwise, according to Forbes.

The Daily Beast first reported the effort to rescind Barr’s degree Thursday.

The attorney general, who earned his Juris Doctor from the law school in 1977, was tapped to serve in the position for a second time two years ago. He received his honorary degree in 1992 during his first stint in the role under former President George H.W. Bush, according to Forbes.

Law school faculty are debating several considerations including whether Barr abused his authority, Forbes reported. To revoke the degree, a decision would have to “be made at the University-level,” according to Forbes.

Law school spokeswoman Liz Field declined to say whether officials are considering rescinding Barr’s degree. She also declined to say how many professors are pressing to revoke his degree and if the professors are engaging in a formalized effort like a petition to rescind the degree, deferring comment to The Daily Beast’s story.

Officials last stripped comedian Bill Cosby of his honorary degree in 2016 after he was charged with sexual assault and allegedly assaulted several other women.

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