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Law professor Bender in 'Times' editorial

November 08, 2010

An editorial in the Nov. 4 edition of The New York Times about the Arizona school tax-credit case included comments about Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law professor and dean emeritus Paul Bender, co-counsel for the respondents.

The challenge of the school vouchers program is before the high court, since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled it violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause by disbursing state funds on the basis of religion.

In response to a comment by Justice Samuel Alito that Bender didn’t fully grasp the issue, the Times wrote, “At 77, Mr. Bender has been around the court for more than 50 years, since the days he was a law clerk to Justice Felix Frankfurter. He is among the country’s experts on the tax-credit issue at the heart of the case.

“If the court resolves the case on the merits, a split along ideological lines will not be surprising. But Mr. Bender ably exposed the Arizona program as a crack in the wall between church and state. The court should mend it by calling for the program to stop discriminating on the basis of religion.”

To read the full editorial, click here.

Bender teaches courses on U.S. and Arizona constitutional law. He has written extensively about constitutional law, intellectual property and Indian law, and is coauthor of the two-volume casebook/treatise, Political and Civil Rights in the United States. Bender has argued more than 20 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and actively participates in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts. 

Jane Magruder,
Office of Communications, College of Law