Known best for serving during the first decade of the 21st Century as a United States Court of Appeals Judge for the Tenth Circuit (a jurisdiction encompassing Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and parts of Oklahoma), this high-ranking legal professional also directed Stanford University's Constitutional Law Center.
After graduating from Michigan State University, he earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago and subsequently worked as a law clerk for United States Supreme Court Associate Justice William Brennan.
A noted constitutional law expert, he focused much of his scholarship on the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he later lived and taught or worked in Illinois, New York, California, Washington, D.C., and Colorado.
While teaching at the University of Chicago's Law School, he accepted future United States President (and then recent Harvard Law School graduate) Barack Obama as a University of Chicago Fellow.