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Posted Aug. 24, 2009

Howard Appointed to Prominent Constitutional Law Post

A.E. Dick Howard

Professor A.E. Dick Howard has been appointed the 2009-10 visiting scholar by the National Constitution Center and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

As part of the nonresidential joint appointment, which is awarded to prominent constitutional scholars, Howard will participate in educational outreach programs and undertake research and writing projects.

“I am flattered, of course, to be invited to be a visiting scholar for 2009-10,” Howard said. “The appointment builds nicely upon the experience I have had working with constitution-makers in other countries, especially in the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.  It also complements the research and writing I am currently doing in comparative constitutionalism.”

Widely acknowledged as an expert in the fields of constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism and the Supreme Court, Howard is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

The appointment entails several lectures or programs. In July, Howard gave the inaugural lecture at the center, “Founding Principles: The French Connection,” in which he explored the traffic in constitutional ideas between France and America during the Revolutionary War period and beyond.

Howard said he has a special interest in how constitutional ideals travel and the extent to which constitutions are contingent upon history, tradition and culture.

“Having regular contact with scholars and others at the National Constitution Center and at one of America's most respected law schools is bound to nurture and quicken my thinking,” he said. 

Howard was executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia's current constitution and directed the successful referendum campaign for its ratification. He has been counsel to the General Assembly of Virginia and a consultant to state and federal bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1982 to 1986 he served as counselor to the governor of Virginia, and he chaired Virginia's Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

The center’s theme for 2009-10 is global constitutionalism. Past appointees as visiting scholar include Akhil Amar of Yale, Kathleen Sullivan of Stanford, former Solicitor General Ted Olson and Larry Tribe of Harvard.