Charles E. Rice

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Charles E. Rice
Charles Edward Rice

(1931-08-07)August 7, 1931
DiedFebruary 25, 2015(2015-02-25) (aged 83)
Other namesCharlie Rice
OccupationProfessor of Law
Spouse(s)Mary E. Rice
ChildrenJohn Laurence, Mary Frances, Anne Patricia, Joseph Patrick, Charles Peter, Jeanne Elizabeth, Theresa Helen, Kathleen Bernadette, Ellen Mary, and Patricia Mary

Charles Edward Rice (August 7, 1931 – February 25, 2015) was an American legal scholar, Catholic apologist, and author of several books. He is best known for his career at the Notre Dame Law School at Notre Dame, Indiana. He began teaching there in 1969, and in 2000 earned professor emeritus status. He continued to teach an elective course called "Morality and the Law" each year in retirement.

He lived with his wife, Mary, in Mishawaka, Indiana. They had 10 children and 41 grandchildren.[1][2]

Rice died a day before former Notre Dame President Father Theodore Hesburgh. The styles of the two men who spent their lives working at Notre Dame were contrasted by writer John F. McManus "One [Rice] was a staunch conservative politically and religiously; the other could easily be classified as his polar opposite."[3]


Rice received the B.A. degree from the College of the Holy Cross, the J.D. from Boston College Law School and the LL.M. and J.S.D. from New York University. He served in the Marine Corps and was a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Ret.). He practiced law in New York City and taught at New York University Law School and Fordham Law School before joining, in 1969, the faculty of law at Notre Dame.[1]


He was instrumental in the founding of the Conservative Party of New York in the 1960s. He served as vice-chairman of the party from 1962 to 1969.[4]

Rice served in the Marine Corps and was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (retired).

From 1981 to 1993, Rice was a member of the Education Appeal Board of the US Department of Education. He also served as a consultant to the US Commission on Civil Rights and to various Congressional committees on constitutional issues and was an editor of the American Journal of Jurisprudence. He was a member of the governing boards of Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Eternal Word Television Network. He served as chairman of the Center for Law and Justice International in New Hope, Kentucky, and a director of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor. He was an assistant coach of the Notre Dame Boxing Club.

In 1988 Rice publicly marched and protested The Last Temptation of Christ holding it was sacrilegious.[5]

Rice appeared at venues to give talks against abortion and euthanasia and was viewed as an authority on bioethics and the law.[5]


Video lectures[edit]

Rice made several video lectures on Natural Law Theory and other topics, including The Good Code for EWTN,[6] Right Reason with Dr. Charles Rice alongside Michael Voris for Church,[7] and Natural Law: What It Is and Why We Need It for International Catholic University.[8]


  • Rice, Charles E., Bormes, Alyssa (2014). Contraception and Persecution. St. Augustines Press. ISBN 1-58731-1550.
  • Rice, Charles E. (2009). What Happened to Notre Dame?. St. Augustines Press.
  • Rice, Charles E. (2006). The Winning Side: Why the Culture of Death is Dying. St. Augustine. ISBN 1-58731-923-3.
  • Rice, Charles E. (2005). Where Did I Come From? Where Am I Going? How Do I Get There?: Straight Answers for Young Catholics. St. Augustine. ISBN 1-58731-927-6.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1999). The Winning Side: Questions on Living the Culture of Life. E M R. ISBN 0-9674691-0-4.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1999). 50 Questions on the Natural Law: What It Is and Why We Need It. Ignatius. ISBN 0-89870-750-1.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1990). No Exception: A Pro-Life Imperative. Human Life International. ISBN 0-9627667-0-4.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1986). 50 Questions on Abortion, Euthanasia and Related Issues. Cashel Institute. ASIN B00071M82K.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1985). Divided Ireland: A Cause for American Concern. Tyholland Press. ASIN B0006YVFCC.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1983). Truth in Christ. Cashel Institute. ISBN 99914-3-946-3.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1978). Beyond Abortion: The Theory and Practice of the Secular State. Franciscan Press. ISBN 0-8199-0696-4.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1971). Authority and Rebellion: The Case for Orthodoxy in the Catholic Church. Doubleday. ASIN B0006C5HEQ.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1969). The Vanishing Right to Live: An Appeal for a Renewed Reverence for Life. Doubleday. ASIN B0006BYNYC.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1964). The Supreme Court and Public Prayer. Fordham University Press. ASIN B000J31U0C.
  • Rice, Charles E. (1962). Freedom of Association. New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-0360-7.


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
  2. ^ "In Memoriam: Charles E. Rice". February 25, 2015.
  3. ^ John F. McManus (March 2, 2015). "Death Claims Two at Notre Dame: Fr. Hesburgh and Charles Rice".
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Richard Becker (March 2, 2015). "Charles E. Rice (1931–2015): A Remembrance". Lifesite News.
  6. ^ "The Good Code: The Natural Law". EWTN.
  7. ^ ".Mic'd Up "Right Reason with Dr. Charles Rice" May 1, 2013". Church
  8. ^ "Natural Law: What It Is and Why We Need It". International Catholic University.