Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Michael McConnell, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and a distinguished constitutional law scholar, will resign from the bench and join the full-time faculty at Stanford Law School. The Stanford news item is here. That is, indeed, a very significant appointment for Stanford, though Dean Kramer's hyperbole (in the press release) calling him "the preeminent legal scholar writing about the religion clauses of the United States Constitution" would surely embarrass Judge McConnell, who knows as well as anyone that his former Chicago teacher, Douglas Laycock (emeritus at Texas, now at Michigan), has as much or more claim to that distinction. In any case, it's an excellent appointment for Stanford, and more than off-sets the loss to Stanford's public law group from Larry Lessig's recent move to Harvard.