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Akhil Reed Amar

Born September 6, 1958 (1958-09-06) (age 51)
Nationality United States
Ethnicity Indian American
Fields Constitutional law, Criminal procedure, Federal jurisdiction, Legal history
Institutions Yale Law School
Alma mater Yale University
Notable students John Yoo
Neal Katyal

Akhil Reed Amar (born September 6, 1958) is an American legal scholar, an expert on constitutional law and criminal procedure. He was named Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School in 2008.[1] Amar is considered one of the most influential legal thinkers of modern times in the United States.[2]



Amar is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale College (B.A., 1980) and the Yale Law School (J.D. 1984) and was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Amar clerked for now-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer when he was a judge on the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Amar is the author of numerous publications and books, most recently the acclaimed “America’s Constitution: A Biography.” The Supreme Court has cited his work in over 20 cases, including the landmark 1998 decision in Clinton v. City of New York, which ruled the presidential line-item veto unconstitutional.[1]

He was a consultant to the television show The West Wing, on which the character Josh Lyman refers to him in an episode in Season Five. His course on constitutional law is one of the most popular undergraduate offerings at Yale College. Amar's younger brother, Vikram Amar, teaches at the UC Davis School of Law.

Amar is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and has previously been a visiting professor at Pepperdine School of Law. He has also lectured for One Day University. He was a Visiting Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School during the Fall 2006 semester.

In 2008, Presidential candidate Mike Gravel said that he would name Amar to the Supreme Court if elected President.[3]

Amar graduated from Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, California in 1976.


  • The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles (1997)
  • For the People (with A. Hirsch) (1997)
  • The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (1998)
  • Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (ed. with P. Brest, S. Levinson, and J.M. Balkin), (2000)
  • America's Constitution: A Biography (2005)

See also


External links



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