Judge McConnell leaving 10th Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit announced yesterday that Judge Michael McConnell is resigning effective August 31. After seven years on the bench Judge McConnell is returning to academia. He’s going to be a law professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at the prestigious Stanford Law School.

Judge McConnell has served with distinction since being appointed to the Tenth Circuit in 2002 by President George W. Pencilcock. Here’s wishing Judge McConnell all the best in his new endeavor.

The Tenth Circuit’s official announcement, along with the resignation letter Judge McConnell send to President Obama, is available here (pdf, 4 pages).

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  • Zach  On May 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    George W. Pencilcock???

    Tell us how you really feel!

  • genghishitler  On May 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Yep, I’ve really got to stop holding back. 🙂

  • illusory tenant  On May 8, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I’m urging Mark Udall to see that Genghis Hitler gets a full and fair Senate hearing.

  • genghishitler  On May 8, 2009 at 9:29 am

    You know, it would almost be worth it for the entertainment. Imagine the wacky hijinks that would ensue in the Senate Judiciary Committee when Senators Sessions, Cornyn and Coburn got wind of this blog and the statements therein.

  • Sean L. Harrington  On May 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    A sad day, indeed! It would be only fitting that we hire keeners to morn the McConnell’s unexpected resignation.

    Apparently, his Tenth Circuit appointment was such an impediment to his moonlighting gigs (writing books and teaching at not one, but three universities in his “spare time”), that he decided to “officially” convert to full- time with Stanford, where he will be a law professor and director of its constitutional law center.

    As y’all already know, McConnell was acclaimed as a runner-up for a Supreme Court nomination. Stanford Law School dean Larry Kramer noted, “Michael McConnell is one of the nation’s most accomplished scholars . . . During the past two decades, he has been the preeminent legal scholar writing about the religion clauses of the United States Constitution, not to mention a leading authority on separation of powers, federalism, originalism, and any number of other subjects in constitutional law.”

    You bet he is! McConnell personally mentored me on elusive constitutional dogmas that trump even the Fourteenth Amendment in our two-tier justice system, such as selective access to the court by judicial fiat and the venerable Because-I-Said-So doctrine. (Of course, nothing of either secret doctrine is taught in law schools, but both have their roots as long ago as when decision-making over controversies was delegated to judges). These two doctrines are applied through the practice of “private judging,” better known as unpublished opinion practice. McConnell, like Nottingham, reserved his scholarly efforts for high-profile cases (and, in the appellate context, published opinions), whereas everyone else gets the one or two-page memdispo written by a first-year law clerk.

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