Jesse H. Choper

Prof. Jesse H. Choper

Earl Warren Professor of Public Law (Emeritus), UC Berkeley School of Law

Jesse Choper served as law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court following graduation from law school. He taught at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania from 1957 to 1960, and at the University of Minnesota Law School from 1961 to 1965. He joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 1965. Choper has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Fordham Law School, University of Milan, Free University in Amsterdam, Autonoma University in Barcelona, University of New South Wales in Sydney, University of Lucerne in Switzerland, and Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon and Porto. He served as Berkeley Law’s dean from 1982 to 1992.

From 1979 to 1998, Choper was one of the three major lecturers at U.S. Law Week’s Annual Constitutional Law Conference in Washington, D.C. He has delivered 20 titled lectures at major universities throughout the country, including the Cooley Lectures at Michigan, the Stevens Lecture at Cornell, the Baum Lecture at Illinois, and the Lockhart Lecture at Minnesota. He has served on the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools, and on the executive council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (of which he was vice president for more than ten years). He was national president of the Order of the Coif and is a member of the American Law Institute. In 1998 he received the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award and the Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction at Berkeley Law in 2006. In 2005 the Berkeley Law Alumni Association presented Choper with the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award and the University of Pennsylvania Law School gave him the James Wilson Award, its highest award for alumni.

Choper’s major publications include the books, Judicial Review and the National Political Process: A Functional Reconsideration of the Role of the Supreme Court, which received the Order of the Coif Triennial Book Award in 1982, and Securing Religious Liberty: Principles for Judicial Interpretation of the Religion Clauses. His recent publications include the thirteenth edition of his Constitutional Law casebooks; the eighth edition of his Corporations casebook; the second edition of The Supreme Court and Its Justices; “The Political Question Doctrine: Suggested Criteria,” in Duke Law Journal (2005); “Wartime Process: A Dialogue on Congressional Power to Remove Issues From the Federal Courts,” in California Law Review (2007) (co-author); and “Who’s Afraid of the Eleventh Amendment? The Limited Impact of the Court’s Sovereign Immunity Rulings,” in Columbia Law Review (2006) (co-author).


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