Caleb Nelson is the Emerson G. Spies Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.
Early Life and Education
Nelson is the son of David Aldrich Nelson, a former judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Mary Nelson. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University in 1988 with an A.B. in mathematics. Nelson then moved to Washington, D.C. where he served as the managing editor of The Public Interest, a domestic-policy quarterly. In 1993, he graduated from Yale Law School.
After graduating from Yale, Nelson clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then for Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States. Nelson then spent three years as a litigation associate at the firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Cincinnati. In 1998, Nelson joined the law faculty at the University of Virginia. As a professor, Nelson focuses his teaching and research on federal courts, constitutional law, legislation, and civil procedure. Nelson is the author of the highly cited article "Preemption," which appeared in the March 2000 issue of the Virginia Law Review.
- Nelson, Caleb (1993), "A Re-Evaluation of Scholarly Explanations of the Rise of the Elective Judiciary in Antebellum America", The American Journal of Legal History, 37 (2): 190–224.
- Nelson, Caleb (2000), "Preemption", Virginia Law Review, 86 (2): 225–305.
- Nelson, Caleb (2001), "Stare Decisis and Demonstrably Erroneous Precedents", Virginia Law Review, 87 (1): 1–84.
- Nelson, Caleb (2002), "Sovereign Immunity as a Doctrine of Personal Jurisdiction", Harvard Law Review, 115 (6): 1559, doi:10.2307/1342562.
- Nelson, Caleb (2003), "Originalism and Interpretive Conventions", The University of Chicago Law Review, 70 (2): 519–598, doi:10.2307/1600589.
- Woolhandler, Ann; Nelson, Caleb (2004), "Does History Defeat Standing Doctrine?", Michigan Law Review, 104 (2): 689–733.
- Nelson, Caleb (2006), "The Persistence of General Law", Columbia Law Review, 106 (3): 503–568.
- Nelson, Caleb (2007), "Adjudication in the Political Branches", Columbia Law Review, 107 (3): 559–627.
Awards and Honors
- Winner of the Scholarly Papers Competition, Association of American Law Schools (2000)
- Paul M. Bator Award, the Federalist Society (2006)
- University of Virginia McFarland Award (2006)
- University of Virginia All-University Teaching Award (2008)