Goldwater Institute Announces $1 Million Gift to Launch Litigation
Contribution will establish Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation
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
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 Center’s first
case will be announced later this summer.
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 Bailey’s Brake Service case reinforcing Arizona’s 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.