Phoenix -- The Goldwater Institute announced today that Arizona businessmen R. Evan Scharf and John R. Norton III have arranged for a $1 million challenge grant to establish and fund the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.
The Goldwater Institute provides constitutionally sound policy research and recommendations for Arizona lawmakers, Goldwater President Darcy Olsen said today, but when government oversteps the boundaries of the constitution, sometimes what you need is a good lawyer. The Scharf-Norton Center will litigate issues related to school choice, private property rights and government reform. The Cente'rs first case will be announced later this summer.
R. Evan Scharf is a private investor and philanthropist. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Scharf earned his undergraduate degree at Trinity College and attended Harvard Law School before earning his MBA from the Harvard Business School. He then spent ten years on Wall Street, first as a financial analyst with Loeb, Rhoades, and later as a general partner at Wood, Struthers and Winthrop. Since moving to Arizona in 1973, Scharf has served as CFO of a real estate and cattle company, senior vice president-investments at Paine Webber, and co-managing partner of the Fountainhead Financial Group. Mr. Scharf is a former member of the Goldwater Institute board of directors. He lives with his wife Sue Chasin Scharf in Flagstaff and Scottsdale.
John R. Norton III, is Chairman of the J.R. Norton Company, an agricultural business he founded in 1955. A third generation Arizonan, Mr. Norton was born in Phoenix and graduated from the University of Arizona before serving as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Mr. Norton also served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Reagan Administration, and has been a director of several companies including America West Airlines, Arizona Public Service, the Apollo Group, and Shamrock Foods. Mr. Norton is a member of the Goldwater Institute board of directors and a former chairman. He and his wife Doris reside in Phoenix.
The Scharf-Norton Center will be directed by Clint Bolick, who is best known for leading the nationwide litigation effort culminating in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding school vouchers. Mr. Bolick also successfully argued the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down regulatory roadblocks to the direct interstate shipment of wine, and was lead attorney in the Baileys Brake Service case reinforcing Arizonas constitutional protection against eminent domain abuse.
The Scharf-Norton Center has also received significant support from the Challenge Foundation; additional fundraising efforts will commence this summer.
The Goldwater Institute is a non-profit research organization developing policy solutions that foster economic and educational freedom.