Mark Tushnet

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Mark Tushnet
1 mark tushnet smu 2018.jpg
Tushnet speaking at Singapore Management University in 2018
Born (1945-11-18) November 18, 1945 (age 73)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materHarvard University (BA)
Yale Graduate School (MA)
Yale Law School (JD)
OccupationWilliam Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law
EmployerHarvard Law School
Known forExpert on Constitutional law

Mark Victor Tushnet (born November 18, 1945)[1] is a leading scholar of constitutional law and legal history, and currently the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.


In 1967, Tushnet received his A.B. from Harvard College.[2][3] He later received an M.A. in history from Yale University and his J.D. from the Yale Law School. Tushnet has been a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and he taught for many years at the Georgetown University Law Center.[4][5][6]

Tushnet served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court between 1972 and 1973.[7] In a 1996 congressional hearing on President Bill Clinton's veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, Tushnet testified about his involvement in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that struck down state laws prohibiting abortion. During questioning it was alleged that a memorandum written by Tushnet to Marshall had a significant influence on the outcome of the case.[8] More recently, he commented on the power of the president to pardon himself, composition of the Court, and the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy,[9][10][11] he is also widely quoted in the press as an expert on the First Amendment right to free speech and the scope of presidential powers.[12][13][14] In 2016, Tushnet was listed among the ten most frequently cited law professors.[15]

One of the more controversial figures in constitutional theory, he is identified with the 'critical legal studies' movement and once stated in an article that, were he asked to decide actual cases as a judge, he would seek to reach results that would "advance the cause of socialism".[16] Tushnet is a main proponent of the idea that judicial review should be strongly limited and that the Constitution should be returned "to the people." Tushnet is, with Harvard Law Professor Vicki Jackson, the co-author of a casebook entitled Comparative Constitutional Law (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 2006).

Personal life[edit]

Tushnet is Jewish, his wife, Elizabeth Alexander, is a Unitarian,[17] and formerly directed the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. She now works in private practice, their daughter Rebecca Tushnet is also a professor of law at Harvard Law School.[18][19] Their other daughter Eve is a celibate lesbian Roman Catholic author and blogger.[20][21]


  1. In the Balance: Law and Politics on the Roberts Court, (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013) ISBN 0393073440.
  2. I Dissent: Great Opposing Opinions in Landmark Supreme Court Cases, (Malaysia: Beacon Press, pp. 256, 2008)
  3. A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law (W. W. Norton & Company, 2005) ISBN 0393327574
  4. The New Constitutional Order (Prininceton U. Press 2003).
  5. The Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies (Peter Cane & Mark V. Tushnet eds., Oxford Univ. Press 2003).
  6. Defining the Field of Comparative Constitutional Law (Vicki C. Jackson & Mark Tushnet eds., Praeger 2002).
  7. And L. Michael Seidman et al., Constitutional Law (Little, Brown and Co. 4th ed. 2001).
  8. Et al., Federal Courts in the 21st Century: Cases and Materials (LexisNexis 2001).
  9. Marshall, Thurgood; Tushnet, Mark V. (Editor); and Kennedy, Randall (Foreword by). (2001). Thurgood Marshall: His Speeches, Writings, Arguments, Opinions and Reminiscences. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated -- Lawrence Hill Books. ISBN 9781556523861.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. Making Constitutional Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1961-1991 (1997).
  11. Brown v. Board of Education: The Battle for Integration (1995).
  12. The Warren Court in Historical and Political Perspective (Mark V. Tushnet ed., 1993).
  13. Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1956-1961 (1994).
  14. The NAACP's Legal Strategy Against Segregated Education, 1925-1950 (1987).
  15. The American Law of Slavery, 1810-1860: Considerations of Humanity and Interest (1981).
  16. And L. Michael Seidman et al., Constitutional Law (Little, Brown and Co. Supp. 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 2d ed. 1991, Supp. 1992, 1995, 1996, 3d ed. 1996, Supp. 1998, 4th ed. 2001).
  17. And Vicki C. Jackson, Comparative Constitutional Law (Foundation Press 1999).
  18. Taking the Constitution Away From the Courts (Princeton University Press 1999), excerpted in Great Cases in Constitutional Law (Robert P. George ed., Princeton University Press, 2000) (reprinting chapter 1 in substance). Symposium of Commentaries on this book: 34 University of Richmond Law Review 359-566 (2000).
  19. And L. Michael Seidman et al., Teacher's Manual to The First Amendment (Aspen Law & Business 1999).
  20. And Francisco Forrest Martin, The Rights International Companion to Constitutional Law: An International Human Rights Law Supplement (Kluwer Law International 1999).
  21. And L. Michael Seidman, Remnants of Belief: Contemporary Constitutional Issues (Oxford University Press 1996).
  22. Constitutional Issues: The Death Penalty (Facts On File, Inc. 1994).
  23. Constitutional Law (International Library of Essays in Law & Legal Theory) (Mark V. Tushnet, ed., New York University Press 1992).
  24. Comparative Constitutional Federalism: Europe and America (Mark V. Tushnet ed., Greenwood Press 1990).
  25. Central America and the Law: The Constitution, Civil Liberties, and the Courts (South End Press 1988).
  26. Red, White, and Blue: A Critical Analysis of Constitutional Law (Harvard University Press 1988).
  27. Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over Guns (Inalienable Rights).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ date & year of birth according to LCNAF CIP data
  2. ^ Karr, Mia C. (28 November 2016). "Law Professor Included on Conservative Nonprofit's 'Watchlist'". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  3. ^ Pazzanes, Christina (27 July 2018). "Are there holes in the Constitution?". Harvard Law Today Magazine. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Faculty Notes". The Gargoyle-Alumni Magazine of the University of Wisconsin Law School. 9 (1): 4. Autumn 1977. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Faculty Bio-Mark Tushnet". Georgetown Law Center. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  6. ^ Leiter, Brian (22 February 2006). "Harvard Makes Offer to Mark Tushnet". Blog: Brian Leiter's Law School Reports. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  7. ^ Mineo, Liz (29 September 2017). "Thurgood Marshall: The soundtrack of their lives Five former clerks of the Supreme Court justice and civil rights champion recall the man who became an icon". Harvard Law Today Magazine. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  8. ^ Origins & Scope of Roe v. Wade: Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives. DIANE Publishing. 1996. p. 119. ISBN 9780788149191.
  9. ^ Mangin, Don; Higgins, Tucker (4 June 2018). "Here's what 12 experts say about whether President Trump can pardon himself". CNBC. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  10. ^ Lemieux, Scott (10 May 2018). "Democrats: Prepare to Pack the Supreme Court". The New Republic. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  11. ^ Miller, Brian (2 July 2018). "The Jurisprudence Of Doubt". Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  12. ^ Whitley, David (23 May 2018). "Commentary: NFL did fans and players a favor with anthem rule". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  13. ^ Blake, Aaron (27 January 2018). "Could lying about trying to fire Mueller put Trump in even more hot water?". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  14. ^ Illing, Sean (11 May 2017). "This Harvard law professor thinks Trump really could be impeached over Comey". Vox. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  15. ^ Adler, Jonathan H. (19 May 2016). "Most-cited law faculty, 2010-2014". Washington Post. Volokh Conspiracy Blog. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  16. ^ "The Dilemmas of Liberal Constitutionalism," 42 Ohio State Law Journal 411, 424 (1981).
  17. ^ "A Gay Catholic Voice Against Same-Sex Marriage"
  18. ^ Stohr, Greg (14 November 2017). "Free Speech Is Starting to Dominate the U.S. Supreme Court's Agenda". Bloomberg. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  19. ^ Paulson, Michael; Alter, Alexandra (23 March 2018). "We Asked 7 Lawyers to Untangle the Broadway Fight Over 'To Kill a Mockingbird'". New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  20. ^ "'Gay and Catholic': An Interview with Author Eve Tushnet". America Magazine. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  21. ^ Oppenheimer, Mark (4 June 2010). "A Gay Catholic Voice Against Same-Sex Marriage". New York Times.

External links[edit]