Kermit Roosevelt III

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This article is about the legal scholar. For other persons with the same name, see Kermit Roosevelt (disambiguation).
Kermit Roosevelt III
Kermit Roosevelt.jpg
Born (1971-07-14) July 14, 1971 (age 43)
Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Harvard University
Yale Law School
Relatives Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. (grandfather)
Mark Roosevelt (uncle)

Kermit Roosevelt III (born July 14, 1971) is a member of the Roosevelt family and law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of The Myth of Judicial Activism (Yale University Press, 2006) and the D.C. legal thriller In the Shadow of the Law (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005). He is the great-grandson of United States President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) and the fifth cousin three-times removed of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).

Early life[edit]

Roosevelt was born in Washington, D.C. on July 14, 1971. His father, also Kermit (born April 7, 1938), is a grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). He graduated from St. Albans School (where he was a presidential scholar),[1] Harvard University, and Yale Law School. He was a law clerk for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the D.C. Circuit, and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter.[2]


Roosevelt worked as a lawyer with Mayer Brown in Chicago from 2000 to 2002 before joining the Penn Law faculty in 2002.[2]

Roosevelt's areas of academic interest include conflicts of law and constitutional law. He has published in the Virginia Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the Columbia Law Review, among others, and his articles have been cited twice by the United States Supreme Court and numerous times by state and lower federal courts.

Some of his recent scholarly publications include "Detention and Interrogation in the Post-9/11 World," delivered as the Donahue Lecture at Suffolk University Law School in 2008, “Guantanamo and the Conflict of Laws: Rasul and Beyond” (2005), published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, "Constitutional Calcification: How the Law Becomes What the Court Does," University of Virginia Law Review (2005), and "Resolving Renvoi: the Bewitchment of Our Intelligence by Means of Language," Notre Dame Law Review (2005).[3]

Roosevelt is also a novelist. In a 2005 New York Times review of Roosevelt's novel In the Shadow of the Law, 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."[4]

Roosevelt is a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania [5] and a member of the American Law Institute. [6] In November 2014, the American Law Institute announced that Roosevelt had been selected as the Reporter for the Third Restatement of Conflict of Laws. [7]


  • Conflict of Laws (Foundation Press 2010) (offers an analytical overview of the field)
  • Conflict of Laws: Cases, Comments, Questions (West, 7th ed. 2010) (co-edited with David Currie, Herma Hill Kay & Larry Kramer) (one of the leading conflict-of-laws casebooks)
  • The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions. Kermit Roosevelt III. Yale Univ., ISBN 0-300-11468-0.[8][9] The work defends the Supreme Court against the charge of undue judicial activism.[10]
  • In the Shadow of the Law (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005).


  1. ^ Presidential Scholars. Charles Elder. The Washington Post. DISTRICT WEEKLY; PAGE J3; PEOPLE. June 1, 1989.
  2. ^ a b "Politics skews perception on judicial rulings: author". STEPHANIE POTTER. Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Pg. 10001. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ "Volume 80, Issue 5". Notre Dame Law Review. Retrieved June 15, 2012. [dead link]
  4. ^ "'In the Shadow of the Law': Their Finest Billable Hour"
  5. ^ Annenberg Public Policy Center Distinguished Research Fellows – The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania
  6. ^ The American Law Institute - Listings
  7. ^
  8. ^ Calhoun, Emily M. (June 1, 2007), "The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions (Book review)", Trial .
  9. ^ Hills, Roderick M., Jr. (November 1, 2007), "Mistaking the Window-Dressing for the Window", Judicature .
  10. ^ Staff. (July 31, 2006), "The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions", Publishers Weekly Reviews: 67 .

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