Rutgers officials vote to change name of Bradley Hall due to namesake’s ties to racism

The Rutgers Board of Governors voted to remove the name of an alumnus from a building on the Rutgers Newark Campus.
The building was named for Joseph Bradley, a Rutgers graduate and Supreme Court justice. But Bradley was also known to have opened the doors for legal racial discrimination. The building bearing his name, ironically sits at the corner of Warren Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Some students say that changing the name of Bradley Hall shows that the university is moving in the right direction.
“It's a great sign to see Rutgers taking a step forward and making that effort to change the name to something more appropriate,” says sophomore Armahn Mahendrapel.
The proposed resolution was on Wednesday’s agenda. It approved the removal of the name Joseph P. Bradley from Bradley Hall on the Newark campus.
“I think it’s a better cultural shift, too. Not only for students, but for professors as well and the area,” says junior Nazeer Akinyele.
Bradley graduated from Rutgers in 1836. He overturned the Civil Rights Act of 1875, opening the door for an era of legal discrimination. He also argued that women had no constitutional right to practice law.
“We're in 2021 and things are moving along especially when it comes to misogyny, sexists, rape, LGBT, so if we want to keep things going forward, we have to change things,” says junior Nathalie Lantigua.
In a statement, Rutgers officials said in part, "The decision to remove the Bradley name from Bradley Hall came from recommendations submitted by a committee of Rutgers-Newark faculty, students, and staff as part of the continued pursuit of its strategic plan that centers on strengthening the inclusivity of our campus."
The committee recommended Bradley's name be removed after a study of his judicial record. The study showed Bradley chose to use his position as a Supreme Court Justice to undo reconstruction, regressing on civil rights and opening a new era of oppression.
Bradley Hall isn't the only building named for someone with a checkered past. Students have pushed for the erasure of names of several buildings, however, school officials instead opted to add historical markers explaining their ties to slavery.