2002: Cass Sunstein
Cass Sunstein is the author of many articles and a number of books, including the notable Republic.com (2001) where he argues that the internet may weaken democracy because it allows citizens to isolate themselves within groups that share their own views and experiences. This cuts them off from any information that might challenge their beliefs (a phenomenon often known by the term cyberbalkanization). Also of note is his The Second Bill of Rights (2004), where he discusses the little-known Second Bill of Rights proposed by FDR, which included a right to an education, a right to a home, a right to health care, a right to protection against monopolies, and more. Sunstein argues that the Second Bill of Rights has had a large international impact and should be revived in the United States.
Early on in his career, he worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations, including Ukraine, Poland, China, South Africa, and Russia. Sunstein is also a contributing editor to The New Republic and is a frequent witness before congressional committees; he played an active role in opposing the effort to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998.
A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Mr. Sunstein has served as Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia, visiting professor of law at Harvard, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago, vice-chair of the ABA Committee on Separation of Powers and Governmental Organizations, chair of the Administrative Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, a member of the ABA Committee on the future of the FTC, and as a member of the President's Advisory Committee on the Public Service Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters.
A 1975 and 1978 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College (A.B.) and Harvard Law School (J.D.), respectively, he started his law career as a clerk for Justices Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court.