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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary


Michael McConnell Explains The Constitutionality Of The Affordable Care Act And The Recent Ruling To Overturn It

by Michael McConnellvia Stanford Law School
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Last week, a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a lawsuit filed by a group of Republican governors and state attorneys general. In the ruling, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth said that the mandate requiring people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional and so the rest of the law cannot stand without it. In the Q&A that follows, Professor Michael McConnell discusses the ruling and what may be next for the ACA.


Look Past The Politics — Kavanaugh Superbly Qualified For The U.S. Supreme Court

by Michael McConnellvia San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, September 9, 2018

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh are over. They will go down in history as the most chaotic, disruptive, circus-like, non-substantive confirmation hearings in history. So far.


The Latest Assault On Obamacare Is A Dog Of A Case. No Way Kavanaugh Disagrees.

by Michael McConnellvia The Washington Post
Thursday, September 6, 2018

health-care case in federal district court in Texas has emerged as one of the focal points in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sought assurances from Kavanaugh on Wednesday that he would vote to uphold the constitutionality of the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions


Brett Kavanaugh Will Bring Middle Principles To Our Polarized Nation

by Michael McConnellvia The Hill
Saturday, September 1, 2018

There is plenty of controversy over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but almost none of it is about him. Even detractors appear to have abandoned any claim that he lacks the intellect, experience, or temperament to be an outstanding justice.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Kavanaugh And The “Chevron Doctrine”

by Michael McConnellvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 30, 2018

Expect this legal issue to come up during the confirmation hearings.

The Supreme Court

Brett Kavanaugh's Possible Impact On The Supreme Court

by Paul E. Peterson, Michael McConnellvia The Education Exchange
Monday, July 23, 2018

Michael McConnell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a former Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

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.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

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.