Nelson Receives Federalist Society Award

February 17, 2006

Professor Caleb E. Nelson will receive the prestigious Paul M. Bator Award given annually by the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. The award recognizes a young academic, under the age of 40, whose life, work, and ideals most closely embody those of the late Paul M. Bator, a legendary professor who taught a generation of law students at Harvard and the University of Chicago.

Nelson said the award is especially meaningful to him because Professor Bator was a leading figure in Nelson's own field of federal courts.

"I'm thrilled to be receiving an award named for such a legendary teacher and scholar. His article about habeas relief for state prisoners, for instance, is a real classic in the legal literature," Nelson said. "And I'm also delighted to receive recognition from the Federalist Society, an organization that I admire both for its commitment to principle and for its contribution to civilized intellectual discussion of truly important legal issues."

Nelson will receive the award at the Federalist Society's national student symposium at Columbia Law School Feb. 25.

Nelson teaches federal jurisdiction, civil procedure, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. The first article he wrote as a professor, analyzing federal preemption of state laws, won the Scholarly Papers Competition of the Association of American Law Schools in 2000. Since then, he has published articles about stare decisis, sovereign immunity, the interpretation of written laws and standing to sue in federal court. Nelson has been a full professor since 2003 and is currently the Albert Clark Tate, Jr., Research Professor.

Established in 1982, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to the Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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