The University of Arizona

About the Center

The William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government was established in 2006 at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law to honor the legacy of the sixteenth Chief Justice. The non-partisan Center is dedicated to encouraging scholarship about and public understanding of structural constitutional themes that were integral to Chief Justice Rehnquist's jurisprudence.  These themes include the separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government, the balance of powers between the federal and state governments and among sovereigns more generally, and judicial independence.

rehnquist arizona law
Chief Justice Rehnquist taught a course on the Supreme Court at the University
of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law for 11 years, beginning in 1994.

Chief Justice Rehnquist was a strong defender of federalism, separation of powers, and judicial independence. The Center explores these principles, their vital roles in the functioning of our constitutional system, and ways in which they can be preserved and protected. The Center also engages in comparative analysis of the manner in which other governments around the world have adopted and implemented these constitutional structures, and encourages the development and maintenance of systems that promote judicial independence and separation of powers.

The Center sponsors a visiting scholars program, a jurist in residence program, an annual lecture, and periodic seminars and conferences.  It also organizes and participates in international judicial exchanges involving U.S. and foreign judges and lawyers. This effort is organized under the Center's Sandra Day O'Connor International Judicial Exchange Program.  Through all of its activities, the Center engages in public outreach and education relating to the structural constitutional themes outlined above.

The Center will house a library that will allow visiting scholars and judges access to materials relating to the structural constitutional themes that are the Center's focus and that were so central to Chief Justice Rehnquist's jurisprudence.

The Rehnquist Center's programs and activities are governed by an Advisory Board whose members are appointed by the Director. The Board meets annually.

Photo Information:
Left: Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, taken at the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law.

Right: The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.