The Witherspoon Institute is pleased to announce that Senior Fellow Helen M. Alvaré is a 2016 recipient of the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Edwin Meese III Award for Originalism and Religious Liberty. The award is granted to individuals who have made “significant efforts in publicly promoting and defending religious liberty and a principled jurisprudence through the active advancement of constitutional originalism.” The award was established in 2009 in honor of Edwin Meese III, the nation’s 75th attorney general under President Ronald Reagan.
The other 2016 recipients of the award were the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Senior Judge James Buckley.
Helen Alvaré, Professor of Law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, was granted the award on the basis of “her thoughtful exposition, insights, and defense of religious freedom and rights of conscience.” At Scalia Law School, she teaches Family Law, Law and Religion, and Property Law. In addition to publishing in law reviews and other academic journals, Professor Alvaré serves the important role of public intellectual by writing regularly for the Witherspoon Institute’s online journal The Public Discourse and for news outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Examiner.
Alvaré received her law degree from Cornell University School of Law and her master’s degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the faculty of George Mason University, Alvaré taught at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America; represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops before legislative bodies, academic audiences and the media; and was a litigation attorney for the Philadelphia law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young.