On Saturday, March 8, the Federalist Society presented its annual Paul M. Bator Award to Joshua D. Wright, Professor of Law at the George Mason University School of Law, where he is currently on leave to serve as a Commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission. The award ceremony took place at the Federalist Society’s 33rd Annual Student Symposium, held at the University of Florida. The award was presented by Zach Mayo, a third year law student at the University of Chicago Law School, who served on the selection committee.
The Bator Award was established in 1989 in memory of Professor Paul M. Bator, a renowned scholar and teacher of federal courts and constitutional law at Harvard and the University of Chicago who played an important role in the early days of the Federalist Society. Duke Law School Dean David F. Levi, who knew Bator, called him “one of the greatest federal courts scholars of the last century and a superb advocate.” The award recognizes a young academic – under the age of forty – who has demonstrated excellence in legal scholarship, a commitment to teaching, a concern for students, and who has made a significant public impact. “[Bator] was unrelenting in his insistence on excellence,” Levi said. “It is a great honor to receive an award in his name.”
Prior to joining the Federal Trade Commission, Wright served as a professor at George Mason University School of Law and held a courtesy appointment in the Department of Economics. He is a leading scholar in antitrust law, economics, and consumer protection and has published more than 60 articles and book chapters, co-authored a leading casebook, and edited several book volumes focusing on these issues. Wright also served as Co-Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review and a Senior Editor of the Antitrust Law Journal. Professor Wright took leave from George Mason University School of Law to serve as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission on January 11, 2013, and his term expires in September 2019.
Wright previously served the Commission in the Bureau of Competition as its inaugural Scholar-in-Residence from 2007 to 2008, where he focused on enforcement matters and competition policy. Wright’s return to the Commission marks his fourth stint at the agency, after having served as an intern in both the Bureau of Economics and Bureau of Competition in 1997 and 1998, respectively.
In his acceptance speech, Professor Wright said, “I am deeply honored to receive the Federalist Society’s 2014 Paul M. Bator Award and humbled to be added to a list of past winners that includes so many prolific and influential scholars….The Federalist Society has since its inception stood for the principles of rigorous analysis, open debate, and full engagement in the marketplace for ideas. These principles are cherished and celebrated at George Mason University School of Law and I could not be prouder to be associated with both of these institutions.”
Professor Wright graduated with honors from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Economics in 1998. He also received his J.D. from UCLA in 2002 and his Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA in 2003.
Click here for Professor Wright’s faculty profile.
Click here for more information about the Bator Award.
Click here for a list of past Bator Award recipients.