Notre Dame Appoints New Law School Dean Who Donated to Pro-Abortion Obama

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Notre Dame Appoints New Law School Dean Who Donated to Pro-Abortion Obama

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 1
, 2009

South Bend, IN ( — Adding insult to injury, the University of Notre Dame announced today the appointment of a new law school dean who made donations to pro-abortion candidates, including President Barack Obama. The Catholic college is already under intense criticism for inviting Obama to give its commencement speech.

On Wednesday, Notre Dame officials announced that Nell Jessup Newton, most recently chancellor and dean of the Hastings College of the Law at the University of California, has been appointed as the new law school dean.

Rev. John Jenkins, the UND president who has come under fire for inviting Obama and bestowing upon him an honorary degree, made the decision to appoint Newton.

However, Fundrace 2008, a web site devoted to identifying donors to political candidates, indicates Newton gave Obama’s presidential campaign $2,300 during the first quarter of 2007.

Newton also gave $500 to pro-abortion Catholic presidential candidate John Kerry during the first quarter of 2004 in his race against pro-life President George W. Bush.

The campaign finance web site also lists Newton as giving $1,000 in 2008 to Congressional candidate Jackie Speier, who was endorsed by Emily’s List. That is the pro-abortion group that only backs candidates who support partial-birth abortions and paying for abortions with taxpayer funds.

In its announcement, Jenkins praises Newton but makes no mention of her donations to pro-abortion candidates in opposition to the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.

“In Nell Newton, Notre Dame has gained a superb scholar, a proven academic leader, and a person deeply committed to the University’s mission,” Father Jenkins said. “She will help us continue and deepen education and research in our law school, and I am delighted to welcome her to Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame’s provost, Thomas Burish, also had praise for the apparent abortion advocate, calling her "an experienced, effective and admired leader" who supposedly has an "appreciation of the special mission of Notre Dame" and will "build on the Law School’s strong foundation to help it achieve even greater excellence.”

Burish did not say whether he thought Newton had an appreciation for the Catholic Church’s pro-life views or would instill such views in the future attorneys attending the law school.

Newton previously served as dean of the law schools at the University of Connecticut and the University of Denver and taught at American University and Catholic University of America law schools.
She succeeds Patricia O’Hara, who will be ending her tenure as dean after serving in that capacity for 10 years and will remain professor of law at Notre Dame.

Newton, who also was appointed professor of law, will become dean on July 1.

ACTION: Contact Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, at 574-631-5000, fax 574-631-2770, email [email protected], or mail to 317 Main Building, Notre Dame, IN 46556. You can call Notre Dame at (574) 631-5000 or use the email form at

Also submit your complaints to: University of Notre Dame Law School, P.O. Box 780 Notre Dame, IN 46556, call 574.631.6627, fax 574.631.3980 and email [email protected].

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