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Michael McConnell bio photo
Michael McConnell
senior fellow

Expertise: Constitution, law, federalism, and religion


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Michael W. McConnell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. From 2002 to the summer of 2009, he served as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Before his appointment to the bench, McConnell was the Presidential Professor at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah; before that he was the William B. Graham Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. He has also been a frequent visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

In his academic work, McConnell has written widely on such subjects as freedom of religion, segregation, unenumerated rights, and constitutional history and theory. He is coeditor of Religion and the Law (Aspen Publishing, 2002) and Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (Yale University Press 2002).

McConnell was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 18, 1955. He graduated from Michigan State University (BA, 1976) and the University of Chicago Law School (JD, 1979). Before entering teaching, he served as law clerk to Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Associate Justice William J. Brennan Jr. on the United States Supreme Court, as assistant general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget, and as assistant to the solicitor general of the United States.

McConnell has argued eleven cases in the Supreme Court and served as chair of the Constitutional Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, cochair of the Emergency Committee to Defend the First Amendment, member of the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board, and special counsel to Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw. In 1996, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Last updated on November 1, 2011