|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (June 2010)|
August 19, 1943 |
New York City
|Institutions||Yale Law School|
|Alma mater||Harvard University
Yale Law School
Bruce Arnold Ackerman (born August 19, 1943) is an American constitutional law scholar. He is a Sterling Professor at Yale Law School and one of the most frequently cited legal academics in the United States.
Ackerman graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, received a B.A degree from Harvard University in 1964 and an LL.B degree from Yale Law School in 1967. He clerked for U.S Court of Appeals Judge Henry J. Friendly from 1967 to 1968, and then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan II from 1968 to 1969.
Ackerman joined the faculty of University of Pennsylvania in 1969. He was a Professor at Yale University from 1974 to 1982 and at Columbia University from 1982 to 1987. Since 1987 Ackerman has been the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale. He teaches classes at Yale on the concepts of justice and on his theories of constitutional transformation (i.e., the Constitution of the Founders was transformed by the Civil War/Reconstruction and the New Deal). His wife, Susan Rose-Ackerman, is also a professor at Yale Law School who teaches classes on administrative law. Their son, John M. Ackerman, is also an academic who lives and works in Mexico. Their daughter, Sybil R. Ackerman, is an environmental advocate in Portland, Oregon. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1986.
Bruce Ackerman is the author of fifteen books and more than eighty articles. His interests cover constitutional theory, political philosophy, comparative law and politics, law and economics, American constitutional history, the environment, and social justice.
His major works include:
- Social Justice in the Liberal State, 1980
- We the People, Volume 1, Foundations, 1991, Harvard University Press
- Is NAFTA Constitutional?, with David Golove, 1995, Harvard University Press
- We the People, Volume 2, Transformations, 1998, Harvard University Press
- The Failure of the Founding Fathers, 2005, Harvard University Press
We the People: Foundations is best known for its forceful argument that the "switch in time," whereby a particular member of the U.S. Supreme Court changed his judicial philosophy to one that permitted much more of the New Deal legislation in response to the so-called court-packing plan, is an example of political determination of constitutional meaning.
See also 
- "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 1 April 2011.