John Hart Ely
Professor of Law
John Hart Ely, the Richard A. Hausler Professor of Law, was educated at Princeton, Yale, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
He has served in the United States Army; on the staff of the Warren Commission investigating President Kennedy's assassination; as Chief Justice Warren's law clerk; as a criminal trial lawyer with Defenders, Inc., in San Diego; as general counsel (the third-ranking official) of the U.S. Department of Transportation; and as a Professor of Law at Yale, Harvard (where he was the Tyler Professor of Constitutional Law) and Stanford (where he served as dean from 1982 to 1987).
He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations; has been awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of San Diego and the Illinois Institute of Technology; and was the author of On Constitutional Ground (1996), War and Responsibility (1993), and Democracy and Distrust (1980), which won the Order of the Coif award as the best book about law published 1980-1982 and is the most frequently cited book about law published in the twentieth century.
Overall, Professor Ely was the fourth most frequently cited American legal scholar ever. He regularly teaches constitutional law, and has taught courses and seminars in such varied topics as admiralty, the work of the Warren Commission, law and the visual arts, and election law.