Stanford Law Professors Recognized with ALI Appointment and Book Prize

Shirin Sinnar Appointed to American Law Institute

Shirin Sinnar, professor at Stanford Law and John A. Wilson Faculty Scholar, was recently appointed to the American Law Institute (ALI). As one of 24 newly elected members, she will join ALI in its mission to clarify the law. 

Shirin Sinnar 1

Founded in 1923, the American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. The ALI drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes, and Principles of Law that are enormously influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.

“All of us have a role in making the law more just and equitable, especially for those on the margins,” said Sinnar. “I look forward to joining with others in the important work of law reform.”

Shirin Sinnar joined the Stanford Law faculty in 2012. Her scholarship focuses on the legal treatment of political violence, the procedural dimensions of civil rights litigation, and the role of institutions in protecting individual rights and democratic values in the national security context. Her recent work assesses legal responses to hate crimes and domestic and international terrorism under U.S. law.

Sinnar currently teaches courses in civil procedure, advanced civil procedure, terrorism, and the intersection of race and identity with national security. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School (J.D. ‘03), Cambridge University (M. Phil. International Relations ‘99), and Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges (summa cum laude, A.B. History ‘98).

Michael McConnell Awarded the Thomas M. Cooley Book Prize

Michael McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law, was awarded the fifth annual Thomas M. Cooley Book Prize for his book “The President Who Would Not Be King: Executive Power Under the Constitution” (Princeton University Press, 2020) by the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. In addition, McConnell’s book was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. 

The Hobby Lobby Decision

The Cooley Book Prize serves to recognize exceptional books written that advance the understanding of, and commitment to, the written U.S. Constitution. It honors the renowned legal scholar Thomas McIntyre Cooley, a longstanding Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, where he also served as the Dean. Cooley authored several highly influential books, including “A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations Which Rest Upon the Legislative Power of the States of the American Union.”

The Center’s faculty director, Georgetown Law Professor Randy Barnett, explained the Cooley Book Prize decision: “McConnell richly deserves this recognition for his pioneering work as an originalist scholar, the pinnacle of which is his masterful book. Identifying the original meaning of the executive power has proven to be a challenge for originalists… McConnell brilliantly shows how the Philadelphia Convention threaded the needle of creating a strong unitary executive while allocating significant powers to Congress to constrain their abuse.”

The prize will be presented at an award ceremony at the National Archives next year, following a full-day symposium at Georgetown Law focused on the book.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business and high technology.  Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.