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Michael W. McConnell
Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law

Biography 

Director, Stanford Constitutional Law Center; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, as well as Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a leading authority on freedom of speech and religion, the relation of individual rights to government structure, originalism, and various other aspects of constitutional history and constitutional law. He is author of numerous articles and co-author of two casebooks: The Constitution of the United States (Foundation Press) and Religion and the Constitution (Aspen). He is co-editor of Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (Yale Univ. Press). Since 1996, he has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor McConnell brings wide practical experience to bear on his teaching and scholarship. Before joining Stanford in 2009, he served as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has argued 14 cases in the United States Supreme Court, most recently Horne v. Department of Agriculture, in 2013. Before his appointment to the bench, McConnell was Presidential Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, and prior to that the William B. Graham Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He has taught six times as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. McConnell was assistant general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget, and Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Department of Justice, under President Ronald Reagan, and a member of the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board from 1988-1990. He served as law clerk to then Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and to Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a graduate of Michigan State University (1976) and the University of Chicago Law School (1979). He is of counsel to the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis.

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