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 44)
Washington, D.C.
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Citizenship United States of America
Alma mater Harvard University
Yale Law School
Known for
  • Allegiance
  • The Myth of Judicial Activism
  • In the Shadow of the Law
Political party Democratic
Religion Christian
Relatives See Roosevelt family

Kermit Roosevelt III (born July 14, 1971) is an American teacher, writer, author, and lawyer. A member of the prestigious Roosevelt family, he is law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the author of several books. He is a great-great-grandson of United States President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)[1] and the fifth cousin four-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 great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt. He graduated from St. Albans School (where he was a Presidential Scholar),[2] 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.[3]


Roosevelt worked as a lawyer with Mayer Brown in Chicago from 2000 to 2002 before joining the Penn Law faculty in 2002.[3]

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).[4]

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."[5] In 2006, Paramount filmed a pilot episode (written by Carol Mendelsohn) for a TV series based on the novel, starring Joshua Jackson, Frank Langella, Kevin Pollack, Monet Mazur, and Alan Tudyk.[6]

His second novel, Allegiance, which concerns the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, was published in August 2015.[7] It received favorable reviews in the Wall Street Journal ("well worth reading") and the Richmond Times-Dispatch ("splendid, troubling, and authoritative") and a starred review from Publishers Weekly.[8][9][10]

Roosevelt is a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania [11] and a member of the American Law Institute. [12] In November 2014, the American Law Institute announced that Roosevelt had been selected as the Reporter for the Third Restatement of Conflict of Laws. [13]


  • Allegiance (Regan Arts, 2015).
  • 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.[14][15] The work defends the Supreme Court against the charge of undue judicial activism.[16]
  • In the Shadow of the Law (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005).


External links[edit]