Stone Elected National Board Chair of American Constitution Society

ACS Announces University of Chicago Law School Professor Geoffrey R. Stone as New Board Chair
Jeremy Leaming
December 7, 2010

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) today announced that one of the nation’s leading constitutional law scholars, Geoffrey R. Stone, has been selected as the new chair of its Board of Directors.

Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, is an editor of the Supreme Court Review and has authored numerous influential books on constitutional law, including Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (2004), which received many national awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for 2005 and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for 2004. From 1987 to 1993, Stone served as Dean of the Law School, and from 1993 to 2002 he was the Provost of the University of Chicago. He has been a member of the ACS Board since 2005.

Stone replaces Antonia Hernández, who served as acting chair after Berkeley Law School Professor Goodwin Liu stepped down as chair following his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit earlier this year.

Stone, a frequent contributor to both scholarly publications and the op-ed pages of many major publications, including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and The Huffington Post, said he looks forward to helping build and shape the organization and nurture the next generation of ACS members and supporters.

“In a very short period of time the American Constitution Society has made a real difference building an impressive network of law school and lawyer chapters throughout the nation, and continues to expand its community of law students, lawyers, academics, judges, and policy makers devoted to promoting a progressive vision of the Constitution,” Stone said.

“We have important work ahead, as we continue to critique the aggressive conservative activism of the current Supreme Court,” Stone added. “As in the past, ACS will advance a responsible understanding of constitutional law and the role of the judiciary, one that properly focuses on protecting the rights of the disadvantaged rather than on serving the interests of corporations and the National Rifle Association. We live in a time when conservative justices have distorted the meaning of the Constitution in a manner reminiscent of the Lochner era, and ACS must and will hold them accountable for their cynical manipulation of judicial authority."

ACS Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson lauded the Board for selecting such a prominent progressive legal scholar as the organization approaches its 10 year anniversary.

“We are honored and grateful that Professor Stone has played such a critical role in the development of the American Constitution Society,” said Fredrickson. “He is one of the nation’s preeminent constitutional law scholars and we are fortunate to now have him assume this new role as Board Chair.”

Stone also cited the importance of ACS’s initiative to raise awareness of the crisis on the federal bench, where vacancies are at record levels, and not being filled, in part, because of Senate obstruction. Stone observed that "in order for our courts to dispense justice in a timely and efficient manner, we need to appoint and confirm judges. At the moment, there is an alarming number of vacancies on the federal bench, and too many of the president’s judicial nominations have been stalled in the confirmation process. Senators must get beyond partisan wrangling and start confirming our federal judges. Americans deserve a fully functioning judiciary, and I look forward to continuing the good efforts of ACS to draw attention to this matter.”

Geoffrey R. Stone