Hon. Michael W. McConnell

Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law, Director of the Constitutional Law Center; Stanford Law School, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute
Michael McConnell

Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, as well as Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a leading authority on freedom of speech and religion, the relation of individual rights to government structure, originalism, and various other aspects of constitutional history and constitutional law. He is author of numerous articles and co-author of two casebooks: The Constitution of the United States (Foundation Press) and Religion and the Constitution (Aspen). He is co-editor of Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (Yale Univ. Press). Since 1996, he has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor McConnell brings wide practical experience to bear on his teaching and scholarship. Before joining Stanford in 2009, he served as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has argued 14 cases in the United States Supreme Court, most recently Horne v. Department of Agriculture, in 2015. Before his appointment to the bench, McConnell was Presidential Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, and prior to that the William B. Graham Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He has taught six times as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. McConnell was assistant general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget, and Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Department of Justice, under President Ronald Reagan, and a member of the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board from 1988-1990. He served as law clerk to then Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and to Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a graduate of Michigan State University (1976) and the University of Chicago Law School (1979). He is of counsel to the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis.

  • B.A., Michigan State University
  • J.D., Order of the Coif, University of Chicago Law School

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Publications and Multimedia
Universities and the First Amendment - Event Audio/Video
2017 National Student Symposium
March 15, 2017
ROUNDTABLE: Areas of Constitutional Doctrine Transformed - Event Audio/Video
2016 National Lawyers Convention
November 24, 2016
Originalism and the First Amendment - Audio/Video
2016 National Lawyers Convention
November 23, 2016
Zubik v. Burwell: Post-Decision
Short video featuring Michael W. McConnell
July 29, 2016
A Conversation on Intellectual Diversity - Event Audio/Video
Stanford Intellectual Diversity Conference
April 13, 2016
How Long are Horne's Horns? - Podcast
Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
October 02, 2015
What DON’T you know about Alexander Hamilton?
Short video on Alexander Hamilton
August 27, 2015
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
Engage Volume 15, Issue 1 February 2014
April 10, 2014
Young Legal Scholars Paper Presentations - Event Audio/Video
15th Annual Faculty Conference
January 10, 2013
Religion Clauses - Event Audio/Video
2012 National Lawyers Convention
November 20, 2012
Liberty’s Refuge - Faculty Book Podcast
Faculty Division Podcast 07-06-12 featuring John Inazu and Michael McConnell
July 06, 2012
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
SCOTUScast 01-13-12 featuring Michael McConnell
January 13, 2012
Political Philosophy and Classical Liberalism Roundtable - Event Audio/Video
2011 National Lawyers Convention
November 11, 2011
The Pay Czar & the Appointments Clause – a Forum
Online Debate
November 19, 2009
Religious Liberty and the Limits of Government Power - Event Audio/Video
2009 National Lawyers Convention
November 13, 2009
1st Annual Rosenkranz Discussion - Event Audio/Video
2008 National Lawyers Convention
November 22, 2008
Restricting Parental Speech - Event Audio/Video
2007 National Lawyers Convention
November 16, 2007
The Role of Religion in Public Debate - Event Audio/Video
2007 National Lawyers Convention
November 15, 2007
A Constitutional Campaign Finance Plan
Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 1998
May 01, 1998
The RFRA Decision: A Blow for Judicial Supremacy and Against Religious Freedom
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 3, Fall 1997
December 01, 1997