Log in

Academic Advisory Council

Catholic Bar Association Announces Academic Advisory Council

             It is a great privilege and honor for the Catholic Bar Association to announce publicly an initiative unique in the Association’s history.  The CBA has discreetly pursued this initiative for more than a year.  It began under the presidency Eric Gregory and was a major priority of Eric’s successor Peter Wickersham.  An ad hoc committee of the CBA has pursued this matter with utmost diligence.

             The CBA Board of Directors has recognized for many years that the Association would benefit from the sustained guidance and counsel of faithfully Catholic, entirely preeminent, and deeply insightful professors of law and jurisprudence. This is of the greatest importance if we are to play our part in guiding our nation’s return to the highest American traditions of religious liberty, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, civic morality, protection of the vulnerable, and fidelity to the natural law.  The CBA’s intention was to create an advisory board comprised of the most gifted, courageous, and fruitful legal thinkers in the English-speaking world.  We believe that we  have succeeded beyond our most optimistic expectations. 

             Accordingly, it is our great pleasure to announce the establishment of the Academic Advisory Council of the Catholic Bar Association.  At the time you receive this message, John Czarnetzky, a charter member of the Academic Advisory Council, will have made the very first public announcement of the Council’s formation.  In alphabetical order, its inaugural members listed below.

This is, without exaggeration, the most brilliant, courageous, and fruitful assembly of Catholic legal scholars in the English-speaking world.  As we join in the effort within the Church and our country to recover the natural law tradition and apply its insights to restoring our legal culture and safeguarding the civil rights of the next generation, the CBA is grateful for the ability to call upon the advice, counsel, and wisdom of these outstanding legal scholars.  In the very near future, we will provide further news concerning specific initiatives involving the Academic Advisory Council.

Prof. Hadley P. Arkes is the Edward N. Ney Professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions emeritus at Amherst College, Massachusetts, where he has taught since 1966.  He is currently the founder and director of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding in Washington, D.C.  The author of seven books published by Princeton University Press or Cambridge University Press, Prof. Arkes writes keenly about natural law and first things.  His essays have appeared in numerous professional journals, but he is also widely known for his writings in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, National Review, and First Things, a journal taking its name from his book of that title. For eight years he wrote a column for Crisis magazine under the title of “Lifewatch,” and he is also a co-founder of the web journal The Catholic Thing.  Prof. Arkes was the main advocate and architect of the bill that became known as the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act. 

Prof. Gerard V. Bradley teaches Constitutional Law and Legal Ethics at the University of Notre Dame.  He directs (with John Finnis) the Natural Law Institute there and co-edits The American Journal of Jurisprudence, an international forum for legal philosophy.  Prof. Bradley has been a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and a Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute, in Princeton, New Jersey.  He served for many years as president of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.  Prof. Bradley has published over one hundred scholarly articles and reviews.  One of his most recent books is an edited collection of essays titled, Challenges to Religious Liberty in the Twenty-First Century.

Prof. Teresa Stanton Collett teaches at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she is also President of University Faculty for Life.  An expert in legal ethics and one of the great unsung heroes of the pro-life movement, Prof. Collett delivered the CBA’s annual Charles E. Rice Lecture earlier today.  She was the primary drafter of three amicus curiae briefs submitted in Dobbs, one of which the majority seems to have found persuasive.  In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Prof. Collett to a five-year term on the Pontifical Council for the Family, an appointment renewed by Pope Francis until 2016 when the responsibilities of the Council shifted to the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.  In 2013, Prof. Collett served as a delegate to the International Conference on Population and Development for the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations.  Before the Supreme Court, she represented Congressman Ron Paul and various medical groups in the defense of the U.S. federal ban on partial-birth abortion, and the governors of Minnesota and North Dakota in defending those states’ requirement of parental involvement prior to performance of an abortion on a minor. 

Dean John M. Czarnetzky is the Dean of the Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida, a law school that by mission and design is entirely faithful to Catholic teaching.  He has served as the legal advisor to the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations, and represented the Holy See in various negotiations and international treaties, including negotiations establishing the International Criminal Court and the Convention on Persons with Disabilities.  Prior to becoming Ave Maria’s Dean, Prof. Czarnetsky was at the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he received the Elsie M. Hood Award, the highest honor given to a member of the faculty in any department or division of the University.  He was also a member of the Mississippi state advisory committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and co-founded the University’s St. Thomas More Society for Catholic law students.  Prior to his academic career, Czarnetzky served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and practiced law with Sidley & Austin in Chicago, and McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe in Richmond, Virginia. 

Robert P. George holds Princeton’s celebrated McCormick Professorship of Jurisprudence and is Founder and Director of the University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has served as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics. He has also been the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. He was a Judicial Fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Swarthmore, he holds the degrees of JD and MTS from Harvard University and the degrees of DPhil, BCL, DCL, and DLitt from Oxford University, in addition to twenty-two honorary doctorates. He is a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is Of Counsel to the law firm of Robinson & McElwee and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Prof. Mark L. Rienzi is at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he teaches constitutional law, religious liberty, torts, and evidence and has been voted Teacher of the Year three years in a row by the Student Bar Association.  He is also a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.  In addition, since 2018, Prof. Rienzi has been President of the Becket Fund, a non-profit public interest law firm based in Washington, D.C. that defends the religious liberty of people of all faiths.  He has personally litigated a number of First Amendment free exercise of religion and free speech cases before the Supreme Court and represented the winning parties in the Hobby LobbyLittle Sisters of the PoorWheaton College, and Holt decisions, as well as McCullen v. Coakley, a First Amendment challenge to a Massachusetts restriction on speech outside of abortion clinics.  Prof. Rienzi also led a successful eight-year litigation battle against Illinois Governor Blagojevich’s effort to force religious pharmacists to distribute the morning-after and week-after abortifacient pills.  His academic writings on the First and Fourteenth Amendments have appeared in prestigious journals including the Harvard Law Review.

Prof. Ronald J. Rychlak holds the Jamie L. Whitten Chair in Law and Government at the University of Mississippi.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Conference.  He was appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court to the committee revising Mississippi's criminal code and also serves on the Mississippi Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.  Prof. Rychlak serves as an advisor to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations on various issues of international law.  He is the author or co-author of twelve books. His book Hitler, the War, and the Pope refutes the claim that Pope Pius XII failed to stand up for the victims of Nazi aggression in World War II. His book, Disinformation, was co-authored with the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence agent ever to defect to the United States.   Prof. Rychlak also co-edited one of the definitive scholarly treatises on clerical sexual misconduct and has written numerous articles on criminal law, trial practice, free speech, international law, and environmental law.  He has been a panelist for The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog, a columnist for Crisis magazine, and regular contributor to The Epoch Times.

Prof. Adrian Vermeule is the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School.  The author or co-author of ten books, most recently Common Good ConstitutionalismLaw’s Abnegation: From Law’s Empire to the Administrative StateThe Constitution of Risk, and The System of the Constitution,  Prof. Vermeule was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.  Prof. Vermeule’s research focuses on administrative law, the administrative state, the design of institutions, and constitutional theory.  His many essays have appeared in numerous publications including First Things, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Atlantic, The Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence.

Prof. Kevin C. Walsh teaches at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America, where he also co-directs the law school’s Project on Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.  He teaches and writes in the areas of federal courts, constitutional law, torts, agency and partnership, and the Catholic intellectual tradition.  His scholarship explores the doctrines that define—and delimit—the scope of federal judicial power.  His articles have appeared in the Georgetown Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, New York University Law Review, and the Notre Dame Law Review.  After being graduated from Harvard Law School, Walsh clerked for Judge Paul V. Niemeyer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and then Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court.  He has practiced law at Hunton & Williams LLP and taught as a visiting assistant professor at Villanova University School of Law.  Prof. Walsh also holds an M.A. in Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Prof. Paul Yowell is a fellow of Oriel College, Oxford and an Associate Professor in the Oxford University Faculty of Law. Previous to those appointments, he was a lecturer at New College, Oxford.  Prof. Yowell received his J.D. from Baylor University and his BCL, M.Phil., and D.Phil. degrees from Oxford University.  He is also on the adjunct faculty of the University of Notre Dame School of Law.  Prof. Yowell is the author of Constitutional Rights and Constitutional Design: Moral and Empirical Reasoning in Judicial Review and the co-author of Legislated Rights: Securing Human Rights Through Legislation.  He researches broadly in public law and legal theory, with particular interest in the separation of powers, Constitutional theory, comparative constitutional law, and human rights.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software