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McConnell to Leave Tenth Circuit, Join Stanford Law Faculty

Publication Date: 
May 05, 2009
Source: 
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
Author: 
Ashby Jones

Dean Larry Kramer is quoted in The Wall Street Journal Law Blog. The Blog reports that Tenth Circuit Judge Michael McConnell "has agreed to join the Stanford Law faculty — and step down from the bench. At Stanford, McConnell will direct the Stanford Constitutional Law Center."

McConnell has long been known as one of nation’s foremost First Amendment scholars; his area of specialty focuses largely on the freedom of religion. Earlier in the decade, his name was kicked around as a possible replacement for both Sandra Day O’Connor and William Rehnquist.

“Michael McConnell is one of the nation’s most accomplished scholars,” said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “During the past two decades, he has been the preeminent legal scholar writing about the religion clauses of the United States Constitution, not to mention a leading authority on separation of powers, federalism, originalism, and any number of other subjects in constitutional law. We are thrilled and honored to have him join our faculty.”

Prior to his appointment to the bench in 2002, McConnell taught at the law schools at the University of Utah and at the University of Chicago.

“Leaving the court of appeals was a wrenching decision, but I hope I can put my experience as a federal judge to valuable use as a scholar, a professor, and an engaged citizen,” said McConnell.

“Michael McConnell is one of the nation’s most accomplished scholars,” said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “During the past two decades, he has been the preeminent legal scholar writing about the religion clauses of the United States Constitution, not to mention a leading authority on separation of powers, federalism, originalism, and any number of other subjects in constitutional law. We are thrilled and honored to have him join our faculty.”