2004: Bruce Ackerman
Bruce Ackerman is one of America's leading political philosophers and constitutional lawyers known for his scholarly contributions to the areas of political philosophy, American constitutional law, comparative law and politics, taxation and welfare, environmental law and law and economics.
Early in his legal career, he clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly, U.S. Court of Appeals, and Justice John M. Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court. He would later be admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 1961. Mr. Ackerman has been on the faculty of a number of America's most prestigious law schools, including as Professor of Law and Public Policy Analysis at the University of Pennsylvania, Beekman Professor of Law and Philosophy at Columbia, and Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale.
His prolific scholarship includes 19 books that he has authored, co-authored, and edited, over 75 scholarly journal publications, and nearly 100 articles for other publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and LA Times. His most celebrated and well-known works are the first two volumes of his ongoing three volume magnum opus, We the People: Foundations (1991) and We the People: Transformations (1998). Here, he confronts the past, present, and future of popular sovereignty in America through examining the role of the Supreme Court. Hailed as "one of the most important contributions to American constitutional thought in the last half-century" (Cass Sunstein, New Republic), his compelling series speaks to all who seek to renew and redefine our civic commitments in the decades ahead. Not only an academic, he has written many books on real-world problems ranging from housing policy to environmental law to international relations. He has also served the public interest as a lawyer in selected cases, including acting as lead counsel with Lloyd Cutler in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of new House Rules requiring a supermajority vote for income tax increases.
Bruce Ackerman is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been awarded Fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC.
Mr. Ackerman received his B.A. from Harvard in 1964 and his L.L.B from Yale Law School in 1967.