McConnell Steps Down from Bench to Teach at Stanford

Michael McConnell, a Presidential professor of law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, announced on May 9 that he was resigning from the court effective August 31 to take a teaching position at Stanford Law School and direct its Constitutional Law Center.

McConnell was nominated to the 10th Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2001. At the time, he was a full-time member of the College of Law faculty. He continued to teach at the College during the six years he served as a judge. During that period, he taught Religion and the First Amendment, as well as two very popular courses: the Creation of the Constitution and a Supreme Court seminar.

Hiram Chodosh, dean of the College of Law, said that McConnell will always be considered a close colleague and dear friend of the College. Chodosh said, “The country will suffer a heavy loss from Judge McConnell’s departure from the bench but also enjoy an invaluable gain with his return to full-time teaching and scholarship. We’ll savor every moment of our close association past, present, and future.”

McConnell added: “The University of Utah has been my academic home for the past 15 years, and I truly hate to leave it. The warmth, collegiality, and intellectual vitality of the faculty and students have made my time here exciting and rewarding. I hope to be back many times in other capacities.”

To read The Salt Lake Tribune article about McConnell’s resignation from the court, click here: