Widely acknowledged as an expert in the fields of constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism, and the Supreme Court, A. E. Dick Howard is the Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law at the University of Virginia. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Professor Howard is a graduate of the University of Richmond and received his law degree from the University of Virginia. He was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics, and economics. After graduating from law school, he was a law clerk to Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Active in public affairs, Professor 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.
Professor Howard has been twice a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, D.C. He has served as president of the Virginia Academy of Laureates and has received the University of Virginia's Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching. James Madison University, the University of Richmond, Campbell University, the College of William and Mary, and, in 2000, Wake Forest University have conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In the fall of 2001, he was the first Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Residence at Rhodes House, Oxford.
Professor Howard is the author of a number of books, articles, and monographs. These include The Road from Runnymede: Magna Carta and Constitutionalism in America and Commentaries on the Constitution of Virginia, which won a Phi Beta Kappa prize. More recent works include Democracy's Dawn and Constitution-making in Eastern Europe.
Professor Howard has briefed and argued cases before state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a regular guest on television news programs; during the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, Professor Howard provided gavel-to-gavel coverage for the “McNeil-Lehrer News Program.” He also interviewed the justices for the film being shown to visitors to the Supreme Court's building in Washington.
Often consulted by constitutional draftsmen in other states and abroad, Professor Howard has compared notes with revisers at work on new constitutions in Brazil, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Albania, Malawi, and South Africa. In 1996, the Union of Czech Lawyers, citing Professor Howard's promotion of the idea of a civil society in Central Europe, awarded him their Randa Medal—the first time this honor has been conferred upon anyone but a Czech citizen. In 2004, the Greater Richmond Chapter of the World Affairs Council conferred on him their George C. Marshall Award in International Law and Diplomacy.
In January 1994, Washingtonian magazine named Professor Howard as one of the most respected educators in the nation. In 2007, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Library of Virginia included Professor Howard on their list of the "greatest Virginians" of the 20th century.
In 2013 the University of Virginia recognized Howard with its Thomas Jefferson Award — the highest honor given to faculty members at the University. The award commended Howard "for advancing, through his character, work, and personal example the ideals and objectives for which Jefferson founded the University."
In 2016, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, in announcing the restoration of voting rights to convicted felons, recognized Howard for his consultation on the matter as "the foremost constitutional authority in Virginia." (Full Speech)
Scholarship Profile: Constitutional Scholar: Ideas and Initiatives (Virginia Journal 2013)
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