Wednesday, September 20, 2017
J. Howard Marshall II was a Texas oil billionaire perhaps most famous for his short marriage to Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith. When Marshall’s heirs found themselves in a $75 million dispute with the IRS over taxes, they gained an unlikely ally in Barber-Scotia College. The college was founded after the Civil War and was the first institution of higher learning established for black women. Once a beacon of hope, the school is currently weighted down with debt, has difficulty paying staff, and has been stripped of accreditation. Curiously, the name of the school appears on an amicus curiae brief supporting the Marshall family’s position along with four other historically black colleges. While the school denies any involvement, the brief appears to be part of a sinister campaign by the Marshall family to influence two of this nation’s highest courts.
See Zachary R. Mider, Tipping the Scales: Part II—How Anna Nicole Smith’s Billionaire In‑Laws Secretly Lobbied the Courts, Bloomberg, September 13, 2017.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.