February 16, 2006 — The University of Virginia School of Law announced today that professor Caleb E. Nelson will receive the prestigious Paul M. Bator Award given annually by the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. This 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 that he is “thrilled and honored” by the award, adding that it is especially meaningful to him because Professor Bator was a leading figure in Nelson’s own field of federal courts. Nelson will receive the award at the Federalist Society’s national Student Symposium at Columbia Law School on Feb. 25.
At U.Va., 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.
Founded 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. Through its many programs, it provides a forum for legal experts of opposing views to interact with members of the legal profession, the judiciary, law students, academics, and the architects of public policy.