Pamela S. Karlan

Chair of ACS Board of Directors

Pamela S. Karlan, who chairs the American Constitution Society’s board of directors, is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School. She teaches courses on constitutional law and litigation, ethics, torts and Supreme Court litigation.

Karlan served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama. She has also served as a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, as an Assistant Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and as a law professor at the University of Virginia.

Karlan’s publications include “The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process,” “The First Amendment,” “A Constitution for All Times,” “Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution,” “Building Consensus on Election Reform,” “Redistricting for Inclusive Democracy: A Survey of the Voting Rights Landscape and Strategies for Post-2000 Redistricting,” and “Buckley Stops Here: Loosening the Judicial Stranglehold on Campaign Finance Reform.”

At the Justice Department, Karlan received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, which is the department’s highest award, for her work helping to implement the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. She has received the University of Virginia All-University Outstanding Teaching Award, the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award and the John Bingham Hurlbut Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford. American Lawyer also honored her in The Public Sector 45.

Karlan received her J.D., her M.A. in history, and her B.A. in history magna cum laude from Yale University. She clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Hon. Abraham D. Sofaer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.