Judge Richard D. Cudahy

Background Information

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy is pleased to announce the Tenth Annual Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law. This competition honors Judge Cudahy’s decades of distinguished service as one of the nation’s finest appellate judges. Judge Cudahy was a graduate of West Point and Yale Law School, and before joining the bench, served as an air force officer, worked as a private attorney, a law professor, the CEO of a large corporation, and was a member of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. Judge Cudahy was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Carter in 1979, where he secured a national reputation for the depth, rigor and fair-mindedness of his opinions, academic publications and speeches. Among those who worked with and appeared before him, Judge Cudahy was known for his unfailing decency and generosity of spirit.

The choice of regulatory and administrative law as the focus of this competition reflects Judge Cudahy’s interest in and contributions to these fields. Judge Cudahy wrote and spoke widely on public control of prices and service obligations in industries such as electrical generation and transmission, natural gas distribution, and transportation—industries that are viewed as natural monopolies or as so critical to the public interest as to warrant exceptional levels of public control. Judge Cudahy’s work in these areas combined a keen grasp of legal doctrine, deep insight into the institutional forces that determine how doctrine is implemented, and an appreciation of the public impact of doctrinal and institutional choices, including the consequences for fundamental values such as fairness, participation, and transparency. This competition seeks to encourage and reward these qualities in the scholarship of others.