Michael McConnell

Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Biography: 

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.

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Recent Commentary

No, He Can't

by Michael McConnellvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 18, 2013

The president has no constitutional authority to suspend the employer mandate—or, for that matter, any other law.

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McConnell discusses the Affordable Care Act on CNBC

by Michael McConnellvia CNBC
Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Michael McConnell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, discusses Obama’s choice to put off for a year enforcing some of the provisions in Affordable Care Act. McConnell notes that the president does not have the authority to decide which laws he will enforce. If we allow Obama to enforce some laws and not others, this sets a precedent that future presidents might also try to use.

Barack Obama
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Obama Suspends the Law

by Michael McConnellvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, July 8, 2013

President Obama's decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government.

 

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The Constitution and Same-Sex Marriage

by Michael McConnellvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, March 21, 2013

For most Americans, the Supreme Court cases being heard on Tuesday and Wednesday next week are about same-sex marriage. But the cases—Hollingsworth v. Perry (the Proposition 8 case from California) and U.S. v.

Protestors at Wisconsin capitol building

Leader of the PAC

by Michael McConnellvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 26, 2012

Scott Walker’s opponent got most of the PAC money but lost anyway. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, it turns out, represents a double-edged sword. By Michael W. McConnell.

Michael McConnell on SCOTUS ACA ruling

by Michael McConnellvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, July 2, 2012

Read his column at Reuters: "These are significant rulings in support of federalism and the ideal of limited government.

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You Can’t Say That

by Michael McConnellvia New York Times Book Review
Sunday, June 24, 2012

A legal philosopher urges Americans to punish hate speech...

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Citizens United and the Wisconsin Vote

by Michael McConnellvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 11, 2012

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett got millions in support from unions, whose contributions were legitimized by the Supreme Court...

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The Liberal Legal Meltdown Over ObamaCare

by Michael McConnellvia Wall Street Journal
Friday, May 25, 2012

If supporters of mandatory insurance were as confident of its merits as they claim to be, they would offer legal arguments, not moral accusations...

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O’s ugly ‘warning’

by Michael McConnellvia New York Post
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

By all accounts, President Obama’s lawyers did a poor job of defending the constitutionality of his signature health-care-reform law in the Supreme Court last week. So he’s rearguing the case himself...

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