Yale Law School Professor Akhil Amar ’80 LAW ’84 was named Sterling Professor of Law on Thursday, earning the University’s highest faculty honor 32 years after entering Yale as an undergraduate in Ezra Stiles College and 23 years after he first joined the faculty.
Among undergraduates, Amar is best known for his popular course “Constitutional Law.” In legal circles, he is a leading authority on originalism, an interpretative method which argues that the Constitution should be read as understood by the American public at the time of its drafting. Amar’s other areas of expertise include the Bill of Rights and criminal procedure.
Amar, who was traveling Thursday, could not be reached for an interview. He will be on leave during the spring term to serve as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.
Over the past 20 years, Amar has written extensively on constitutional issues in various publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The Supreme Court has cited his work in over 20 cases, including the landmark 1998 decision in Clinton v. City of New York, which ruled the presidential line-item veto unconstitutional.
Amar is also the author of several books, most recently the acclaimed “America’s Constitution: A Biography.” In addition to teaching and research, Amar also served as a television consultant for the television show “The West Wing.”
After graduating from Yale College with a 4.0 grade point average in his twin majors of history and economics, Amar attended the Law School, where he edited the Yale Law Journal. Until his appointment Thursday, Amar had been the Southmayd Professor of Law.
With Amar’s appointment, 10 Sterling Professors now serve on the Yale Law School faculty, including law and political science professor Bruce Ackerman LAW ’67 and former Law School Dean Anthony Kronman GRD ’72 LAW ’75.