Biography

Kermit Roosevelt III is a professor of constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice David Souter, and an award-winning author. A frequent op-ed contributor, his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Washington Times, TIME, the Huffington Post, and The Hill, among many other outlets. He serves as a media expert and keynote speaker, discussing a broad range of topics including constitutional law, the Supreme Court, national security, civil rights, federal authority in wartime, U.S. political history, leadership, conflict of laws, federal jurisdiction, Japanese American internment, and writing.

Roosevelt’s critically acclaimed historical novel Allegiance plunges readers into the battle within the US government surrounding the imprisonment of thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Hailed as “a marvelous and timely,“ and Brilliant” by the president of The Authors Guild, Roosevelt combines the momentum of a top-notch legal thriller with a thoughtful examination of one of the worst civil rights violations in US history. Centered on landmark Supreme Court cases, he explores how we stand by our values, or don’t, in times of crisis. The Wall Street Journal praised the book for its “luminous prose” and relevance to current political issues: “The profound questions that it raises—about the powers of the president in times of war, the tensions between liberty and security, and the role of the courts in resolving those tensions—remain as important in today’s threat-filled world as they were some three quarters of a century ago.” 

Roosevelt’s national campus bestseller In the Shadow of the Law was drawn from his experiences clerking for DC Circuit Judge Stephen F. Williams and Supreme Court Justice David Souter, and practicing law in Chicago.  He was honored with the Philadelphia Athenaeum Annual Literary Award, and his novel was the New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection as well as a Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year. In a New York Times review of the novel, Alan Dershowitz wrote, “I recommend this book with real enthusiasm. Why? Precisely because it doesn’t glamorize its subject. Roosevelt’s gritty portrayal of the transformation of bright-eyed and colorful young associates into dim-eyed and gray middle-aged partners (no one seems to make it to his or her golden years) rings true of all too many corporate law factories.” Paramount filmed a pilot episode (written by Carol Mendelsohn) for a TV series based on the novel, starring Joshua Jackson, Frank Langella, Kevin Pollack, and Monet Mazur.

Roosevelt’s nonfiction books include Conflict of Laws, an accessible analytical overview of conflicts, and The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions, that sets standards by which citizens can determine whether the Supreme Court is abusing its authority. He has also published in the Virginia Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the Columbia Law Review, among others. His articles have been cited twice by the Supreme Court. Coursera hosts his online class entitled Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases. 

Roosevelt is a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the American Law Institute. In November 2014, the American Law Institute announced that he had been selected as the Reporter for the Third Restatement of Conflict of Laws. He is also a lecturer for Kaplan Bar Review and prepares students in all 50 states for the Constitutional Law portion of the bar exam.

Born in Washington, DC, he attended Harvard University and Yale Law School, and is the great-great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt.

 

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