School of Law Awarded $250,000 Darling Foundation Grant to Support Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism

San Diego (February 8, 2012) - University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Dean Stephen Ferruolo announced that the law school’s Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism (CSCO) received a $250,000 grant from the Hugh & Hazel Darling Foundation. 

These funds will be used to sustain the center’s annual Works-in-Progress Conference, create a fellowship to benefit a CSCO professor’s scholarly work in the area of originalism, and support the expansion of the school’s constitutional originalism speaker series.

“We are extremely grateful for the grant from the Darling Foundation,” said Dean Ferruolo. “This gift will allow scholarship in the originalism center to have greater impact both in the academy and in the broader social debate about important constitutional issues.”

Professor and CSCO Director Michael Rappaport has been named the school’s first Hugh & Hazel Darling Foundation Fellow in Constitutional Originalism. The annual Works-in-Progress Conference will now be known as the Hugh & Hazel Darling Foundation Originalism Works-in-Progress Conference.

“I am confident that this will be the leading academic conference on originalism this year,” said Rappaport. “Discussing these topical issues and critically reviewing the latest work on originalism with leading scholars from across the country is an exciting opportunity. It greatly improves the scholarship, increases its visibility, helps cement relationships between scholars in the field—which is an essential part of the academic enterprise—and provides scholars with an additional incentive to do work in the field.”

At the third installment of the annual conference held February 3-4, 2012, top legal scholars gathered for two days to present, discuss and debate new works concerning the originalist theory. Experts from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Northwestern, Georgetown and other law schools presented their works for debate and discussion. Topics of discussion included issues relating to whether the mandate at the heart of the Obama health care plan is constitutional and whether the children of undocumented aliens are citizens. 

About The Center For Constitutional Originalism

Work being done within CSCO focuses on arguments for and against the originalist theory of interpretation, which supports the view that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with its original meaning—that is, the meaning the U.S. Constitution had at the time of its enactment. The center studies arguments for and against the originalist theory of interpretation, the variety of specific originalist interpretive methods, and the original meaning of particular constitutional provisions.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


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