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N.C. law school proposal withdrawn over political controversy

A proposal to create a constitutional law center at N.C. Central University in Durham, N.C., has been withdrawn after controversy over the plan’s financing by a conservative foundation in the state.

The proposal, put forth by Robert Orr, a former N.C. Supreme Court justice, would have created a center focused on the study of state constitutional law at NCCU. The John William Pope Foundation, a conservative foundation, would have provided funding for the center, including $600,000 in grants.

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the Pope Foundation’s, and that of its chairman of the board Art Pope, involvement were a major source of contention:

After a number of alumni of N.C. Central’s law school objected to Pope’s involvement, Orr said he decided to withdraw from the project.

“I’m disappointed,” Orr said in an interview Friday. “I thought it was a really good proposal. I thought it was important for the law school and important for the state. There is really nothing out there that adequately addresses research on the state Constitution.”

He added, “Some folks just don’t like Art Pope. Art was simply trying to help.”

[Raleigh News & Observer]

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