Michael McConnell

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

Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. From 2002 to the summer of 2009, he served as a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. McConnell has held chaired professorships at the University of Chicago and the University of Utah, and visiting professorships at Harvard and NYU. He has published widely in the fields of constitutional law and theory, especially church and state, equal protection, and the founding. In the past decade, his work has been cited in opinions of the Supreme Court second most often of any legal scholar. He is co-editor of three books: Religion and the Law, Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought, and The Constitution of the United States. McConnell has argued fifteen cases in the Supreme Court. He served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. and is Of Counsel to the appellate practice of Kirkland & Ellis.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Justices Confound Expectation In Colorado Wedding Cake Case

by Michael McConnellvia Stanford Law School
Monday, June 4, 2018

The Supreme Court today confounded all expectations, and decided the highly controversial Masterpiece Cakeshop case by a 7-2 vote. This is the case about a Colorado baker who, in accordance with his religious beliefs that marriage is properly confined to a man and a woman, declined to “design and create” a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding.


"Dressmakers, Bakers, And The Equality Of Rights"

by Michael McConnellvia Reason
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A very interesting piece by Stanford Prof. Michael McConnell on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

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A Flawed Restraining Of A Flawed Order

by Michael McConnellvia Defining Ideas
Friday, February 10, 2017

The President’s travel ban was overhasty and incompetent. The Ninth Circuit’s response wasn’t impressive either.

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Neil Gorsuch: An Eloquent Intellectual

by Michael McConnellvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Monday, February 6, 2017

The president’s nominee for the Supreme Court is a credit to his profession.

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A Question Of Prerogative

by Michael McConnellvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Thursday, December 1, 2016

The UK’s Supreme Court wrestles with Brexit, politics, and the British Constitution.

Michael McConnell October 2016
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Michael McConnell: Legal Origins of American Exceptionalism

by Michael McConnellvia Hoover Institution
Monday, October 17, 2016

Hoover Institution fellow Michael McConnell

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Obama’s Unconstitutional Immigration Order

by Michael McConnellvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Framers adopted the Take Care Clause to ensure that the President is forbidden from making law unilaterally. 


Defusing The Supreme Court Fight

by Michael McConnellvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wait for a lame-duck vote. And get Hillary on the record now.


Stanford Law Faculty On Justice Scalia’s Legacy

by Michael McConnellvia Stanford Law School
Monday, February 15, 2016

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death has triggered memories as well as debate. The conservative justice, who was a visiting professor at Stanford Law School in 1980-81, was known for his provocative opinions and sharp wit. Here are some thoughts on his legacy from professors at Stanford Law School.

Justice Antonin Scalia discusses the premise of his book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges.

Antonin Scalia Was Democracy’s Legal Champion

by Michael McConnellvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, February 14, 2016

He changed the way judges looked at text and law, and he was the best writer the Supreme Court has ever known.