• Full-Time Faculty
  • Dale Carpenter

  • Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law and Professor of Law

  • fulltime Faculty
  • Dale Carpenter

  • Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law and Professor of Law

Dale Carpenter

Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law and Professor of Law

  • Biography

    • Professor Carpenter is the Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law. He previously served as the Charles J. and Inez Wright Murray Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at SMU, teaching Constitutional Law I as well as LGBT Rights and the Law. This fall he will teach Constitutional Law II.
       
      Prior to joining SMU, Professor Carpenter taught for 16 years at the University of Minnesota, where he served as a Distinguished University Teaching Professor and the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law. He won multiple teaching awards. He is also an editor of Constitutional Commentary.  
       
      The Texas native received his B.A. degree in history, magna cum laude, from Yale College and received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review. After serving as a law clerk for Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones, he practiced at the firms Vinson & Elkins LLP in Houston, and at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, P.C. in San Francisco.
       
      As the author of numerous articles and an award-winning book —FLAGRANT CONDUCT:  THE STORY OF LAWRENCE V. TEXAS (W.W. Norton & Co., 2012), about the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that invalidated America’s sodomy laws — he is often asked by the media to comment on constitutional law, the First Amendment, and LGBT Rights and the Law. Since 2005, he has been an active blogger on the popular legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, which is hosted by the Washington Post.
       
  • Education

    • B.A., magna cum laude Yale College
      J.D. (with honors) University of Chicago Law School;
      Editor-in-Chief, University of Chicago Law Review


       
  • Books

    • FLAGRANT CONDUCT:  THE STORY OF LAWRENCE V. TEXAS:  HOW A BEDROOM ARREST DECRIMINALIZED GAY AMERICANS (W. W. Norton & Company, 2012)
       
  • Book Chapters

    • Autonomy (of individuals and private associations), in OXFORD HANDBOOK OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION (Sanford Levinson, Mark Tushnet & Mark Graber, eds., Oxford University Press, 2015)

      The Unconservative Consequences of Conservative Opposition to Gay Marriage, in  WHAT'S THE HARM?:  DOES LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE REALLY HARM INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, OR SOCIETY? 319-324 (Lynn Wardle, ed., University Press of America, 2008)

      Four Arguments, in  DEFENDING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE 161-182 (Mark Strasser, ed., Praeger Publishers, 2006)

      Lawrence Past, in THE FUTURE OF GAY RIGHTS IN AMERICA 107-150 (H.N. Hirsch, ed., Routledge, 2005)

      Bad Arguments for Gay Marriage, in I DO/I DON'T:  QUEERS ON MARRIAGE (Greg Wharton, ed., Suspect Thoughts Press, 2004)
  • Other Publications

    • Pride’s Progeny: Legal Ramifications of Same-Sex Marriage, 71 Bench and Bar of Minnesota 20 (Jan. 2014)  Sonja Dunnwald Peterson, Nancy Zalusky Bergan and R. Mark Frey 

      Justice Scalia’s Constitutional Case for Gay Marriage, 14 Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society’s Practice Groups 14 (2013)

      The Federal Marriage Amendment: Unnecessary, Anti-Federalist, and Undemocratic, The Cato Institute, June 1, 2006 (policy analysis)

      A Discourse: Presidential Powers in Time of War, Perspectives: The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Law School 35-41 (Spring 2006) (exchange)  Michael Paulsen and Heidi Kitrosser 

      Is the Solomon Amendment Unconstitutional?, 3 Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases 143 (ABA, Nov. 28, 2005)

      Analyzing Lawrence v. Texas, 19 Focus on Law Studies 2 (ABA, 2003)

      Does the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law Violate the Fourteenth Amendment?, 6 Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases 341 (ABA, 2003)

      Selected Legal Briefs
      Brief of the Human Rights Campaign and 207,551 Americans as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioners, Obergefell v. Hodges, Nos. 14-556, 14-562, 14-571 & 14-574 (U.S. filed March 6, 2015) (co-author)

      Brief for the Cato Institute in Support of Petitioner as Amici Curiae, Elane Photography LLC v. Willock, No. 13-585 (U.S. filed Dec. 13, 2013) (co-author)

      Brief of Federalism Scholars in Support of Respondent as Amici Curiae, United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307 (U.S. filed Mar. 1, 2013) (co-author)

      Brief for the Republican Unity Coalition and the Honorable Alan K. Simpson in Support of Petitioners as Amicus Curiae, Lawrence v. Texas, No. 02-102 (U.S. filed Jan. 16, 2003) (co-author)

      Book Reviews
      On the Legal Frontlines of Same-Sex Marriage, New York Times, June 29, 2014 (reviewing David Boies & Theodore B. Olson, Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality (Viking, 2014))

      Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2014 (reviewing Jo Becker, Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality (Penguin Press, 2014))

      Book Review, 8 Engage 154 (June 2007) (reviewing David Blankenhorn, The Future of Marriage (Encounter Books, 2007))

       
  • Presentations

    • Testimony
      Legislation Related to Marriage Bills
      Hearings Before Committees of the Minnesota
      Senate and Minnesota House of Representatives
      (Mar., Apr., May 2013)

      Proposed Amendment to Minnesota Constitution
      Hearings Before Committees of Minnesota Senate
      and Minnesota House of Representatives (May 2011)

      Legislation Related to Marriage Bills
      Hearing on S.F. 1732, S.F. 120, and S.F. 1210
      Before the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee
      86th Session (Mar. 2, 2010) (expert witness)

      Legislation Related to Marriage Bills
      Hearing on H.F. 999, H.F. 1740, and H.F. 893
      Before the Minnesota House Civil Justice Committee
      86th Session (Feb. 22, 2010) (expert witness)

      What Is Needed to Defend the Bi-Partisan
      Defense of Marriage Act of 1996?

      Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution
      Civil Rights and Property Rights of the Senate Committee
      on the Judiciary, 108th Cong., 1st Sess.
      (Sept. 4, 2003) (expert witness)
  • Media

    • Editorials, Commentary & Letters
      Numerous essays on law, politics, and culture contributed as blogger for the Volokh Conspiracy

      Why marriage amendment is bad policy, and bad politics, for Republicans, St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 17, 2011 (op-ed)

      How the Law Accepted Gays, New York Times, Apr. 28, 2011 (op-ed)

      Yes, Protect Marriage. Let Gays Wed, Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 9, 2010 (op-ed)

      Anti-Gay but Why Sue?: Fighting eHarmony Ban on Same-Sex Matchups, Chicago Sun-Times, July 9, 2007 (op-ed)

      The Federal Marriage Amendment: Anti-democratic, Chicago Sun-Times, June 4, 2006 (op-ed)

      Law School Is Anti-discrimination, Not Anti-military, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Dec. 17, 2005 (op-ed)
      (Alex Johnson Jr. and Beverly Balos)

      The Bonds of Common Ground, National Review Online, Oct. 25, 2005

      Children and Society Would Benefit, Too, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sept. 17, 2004 (op-ed)

      Sodomites Owe Thanks to Texas Republicans, Houston Chronicle, July 20, 2003 (op-ed)
  • Other

    • Book Reviews
      On the Legal Frontlines of Same-Sex Marriage, New York Times, June 29, 2014 (reviewing David Boies & Theodore B. Olson, Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality (Viking, 2014))

      Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2014 (reviewing Jo Becker, Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality (Penguin Press, 2014))

      Book Review, 8 Engage 154 (June 2007) (reviewing David Blankenhorn, The Future of Marriage (Encounter Books, 2007))

      Testimony
      Legislation Related to Marriage Bills: Hearings Before Committees of the Minnesota Senate and Minnesota House of Representatives (Mar., Apr., May 2013)

      Proposed Amendment to Minnesota Constitution: Hearings Before Committees of Minnesota Senate and Minnesota House of Representatives (May 2011)

      Legislation Related to Marriage Bills: Hearing on S.F. 1732, S.F. 120, and S.F. 1210 Before the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee, 86th Session (Mar. 2, 2010) (expert witness)

      Legislation Related to Marriage Bills: Hearing on H.F. 999, H.F. 1740, and H.F. 893 Before the Minnesota House Civil Justice Committee, 86th Session (Feb. 22, 2010) (expert witness)

      What Is Needed to Defend the Bi-Partisan Defense of Marriage Act of 1996?: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 108th Cong., 1st Sess. (Sept. 4, 2003) (expert witness)