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04/28/2021

New Originalism Center at Catholic University Columbus School of Law
Michael Ramsey

Via Ed Whelan at NRO Bench Memos: New Project for Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.  From the press release from Catholic University

The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law received a $4.25 million gift to establish The Project for Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. 

Made by an anonymous trust, the gift establishing the project is intended to create an intellectual center for the study of how the United States Constitution’s original, distinctly American vision of ensuring the protection and flourishing of the human person emulates important aspects of the Catholic intellectual tradition.  

Using the lens of U.S. history, culture, and originalism scholarship, affiliated faculty and students will study the compatibility of the Constitution and Catholic thought over a wide range of constitutional issues. The project will foster consideration of the nature of the human person and the structures of civil society that the Constitution seeks to protect and allow to flourish, as well as the peculiarly American approach to government, political life, and the common good expressed in the Constitution, key founding documents, and originalist jurisprudence.

RELATED:  Also via Ed Whelan, Joel Alicea -- whose work has been highlighted on this blog -- has joined the Catholic University law school faculty.  From the press release

Catholic Law is excited to welcome Joel Alicea as the newest member of the faculty. “Being Catholic myself, I was drawn to the mission of the University and the great tradition of Catholic legal thought. From Aquinas to More to numerous modern scholars, the Church has contributed some of the greatest minds to the study of law, and many of the concepts that are central to modern legal systems owe much to that tradition. It is an honor to be part of that intergenerational conversation in my own small way.”

Alicea previously worked for several years at the law firm of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, where he specialized in constitutional litigation. He previously served as a law clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., on the United States Supreme Court and for Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Joel's scholarship has focused on constitutional theory. He has been published in such places as the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law and the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. He has also been active in public debates, publishing essays in journals such as National Affairs and The Public Discourse. Alicea’s interest in constitutional law can be traced to his undergraduate coursework at Princeton University—particularly Constitutional Interpretation and American Civil Liberties, both taught by Professor Robert P. George. “I found both courses engrossing; they were intellectually electrifying. Constitutional law has been my primary academic interest ever since.”