Former Federal Judge J. Michael Luttig Has Joined UVA’s Karsh Institute and School of Law: 10 Things To Know

The University of Virginia has announced that former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig (UVA ’81) joined their Karsh Institute and School of Law, effective February 1, as a Distinguished Fellow in Law and Democracy.

Ten things to know about Judge Luttig:

1) He is “one of the most influential legal voices to have served in the federal judiciary” who was once a member of the Federalist Society

2) Graduated from Washington and Lee University and University of Virginia School of Law

3) Administrative assistant to Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger before earning his law degree

4) White House lawyer during President Ronald Reagan’s administration

5) Clerked for a pre-SCOTUS Judge Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice Burger

6) Appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

7) The January 6, 2021, riot alarmed him to the point that he testified at the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol (video) where he characterized Donald Trump as a “clear and present danger” to our democracy (Luttig statement)

8) Currently advocates the need to invoke the 14th Amendment to declare Trump disqualified to run for president in 2024

9) He is founder, along with fellow former Federalist Society members Barbara Comstock who represented Virginia in Congress 2015-2019, and former Wachtell Lipton partner George Conway, of the Society for the Rule of Law. The Society will fill a need for “an organization of conservative lawyers committed to the foundational constitutional principles we once all agreed upon,” including “the primacy of American democracy, the sanctity of the Constitution, and the rule of law” (The Trump Threat is Growing. Lawyers Must Rise to Meet This Moment).

10) Judge Luttig: January 6 will be the “single greatest assault on America’s democracy throughout the remainder of history” (National Law Journal).

UVa released the following….

Luttig, one of the most influential legal voices to have served in the federal judiciary, begins a one-year fellowship on Feb. 1 with the Karsh Institute of Democracy and Karsh Center for Law and Democracy at the UVA School of Law

The Honorable J. Michael Luttig, a prominent legal scholar and former U.S. Court of Appeals judge, joins the University of Virginia’s Karsh Institute of Democracy as its first Distinguished Fellow in Law and Democracy, a position sponsored in partnership with the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy at the UVA School of Law.

Luttig’s one-year fellowship begins Feb. 1 and focuses on legal and constitutional issues pertaining to elections, democratic institutions, and the relationship between states and the federal government.

It’s a homecoming for Luttig, who graduated from the School of Law in 1981 before serving as assistant counsel to President Ronald Reagan, assistant attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, and eventually as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, from 1991 to 2006.

“Judge Luttig is one of the nation’s leading legal minds and most influential voices,” said Karsh Institute Executive Director Melody Barnes. “His commitment to democracy and the rule of law and expertise relevant to issues at the heart of our work at the Karsh Institute will benefit students, scholars, and the public.”

As the Distinguished Fellow in Law and Democracy, Luttig will participate in public programming throughout the year, engaging in robust conversations about the different legal and constitutional questions surrounding the 2024 presidential election.

The first event, “The 14th Amendment: When Should a Presidential Candidate Be Disqualified?” will take place Feb. 6 at the UVA Rotunda. It will feature Luttig and University of Richmond law professor Kurt Lash examining questions the Supreme Court will soon consider regarding the 14th Amendment and former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to appear on the primary ballot in Colorado.

These questions are more pressing than they have ever been in our history, and the Karsh Institute offers an important opportunity for critical analysis, Luttig said.

Read the rest here.

Judge Luttig will be a powerful addition to the University of Virginia.


Society for the Rule of Law

New York Times: The Trump Threat is Growing. Lawyers Must Rise to Meet This Moment

The Hill: Bush-appointed judge slams GOP’s ‘spineless support’ of Trump

Spectrum News NY1: Prominent conservative and former judge who advised Pence on Jan. 6: ‘There is no Republican Party’

NPR: Former federal judge warns of danger to America

CNN: Prominent conservative judge who advised Pence on the 2020 election endorses Biden’s Supreme Court nominee

Colorado Public Radio: Former Federal Judge: Court challenge to keep Trump off GOP Presidential Primary in Colorado is not about politics

Society for the Rule of Law: ‘Letters from an American’ Spotlights Our Work

Robert Hubbel’s “Today’s Newsletter:” The Constitution as a star witness

Politico: ‘The Opposite of Politics’: A Conservative Legal Scholar Says Kicking Trump Off the Ballot Is ‘Unassailable’


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