Preeminent election law scholar to join Duke Law faculty

November 25, 2008Duke Law News

Nov. 25, 2008 — Guy-Uriel Charles, the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota, will join the Duke Law faculty in July 2009 as professor of law and founding director of a center on race and politics.

Charles is a leading scholar of constitutional law, with particular expertise in issues relating to race, election law, law and politics, and civil procedure. During his eight-year tenure at the University of Minnesota, he served as interim co-dean, director of the Institute for Law & Politics, senior fellow in law and politics at the Institute on Race and Poverty, and faculty affiliate at the Center for the Study of Political Psychology. He is a visiting professor of law at Duke Law School for the 2008-09 academic year.

“Professor Charles is one of the leading young scholars of election law in the nation,” said Duke Law School Dean David F. Levi. “It will be wonderful to have him permanently at Duke Law School, both for the creativity and breadth of his scholarly interests and for the excitement that he brings to the classroom.”

Charles holds a bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor University and a juris doctorate from the University of Michigan, where he was editor in chief of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. He was a graduate student in political science at the University of Michigan from 1995 to 2000. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He has taught at the University of Toledo School of Law and, in 2006, served as the James S. Carpentier Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. He was the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year 2002-2003 at the University of Minnesota Law School.

A widely published scholar, Charles has published articles in Constitutional Commentary, The Michigan Law Review, The Michigan Journal of Race and Law, The Georgetown Law Journal, The Journal of Politics, The California Law Review, The North Carolina Law Review, and others. He has frequently commented on issues relating to constitutional law, election law, campaign finance, redistricting, politics, and race in the national media. He has served as a member of the National Research Commission on Elections and Voting and of the Century Foundation Working Group on Election Reform.

“Guy is a scholar of real stature in the world of voting rights and election law, which is itself one of the real growth areas in constitutional law,” said Professor Ernest A. Young, a scholar of the constitutional law of federalism, federal courts, and foreign relations law.

Charles is the latest in a string of strong lateral hires at Duke Law School, which since 2005 has hired six senior faculty members, including Young from the University of Texas; political scientist Jack Knight from the Washington University of St. Louis; Lisa Kern Griffin from UCLA; Mitu Gulati from Georgetown Law Center; Curtis Bradley from the University of Virginia; and Michael Tigar from American University’s Washington College of Law.

Charles further strengthens Duke’s constitutional law faculty, which in addition to Young includes Stuart M. Benjamin, professor of law and associate dean for research; H. Jefferson Powell, Frederic Cleaveland Professor of Law and Divinity; Jedediah Purdy, associate professor of law; Christopher H. Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies; and Neil S. Siegel, associate professor of law and political science; as well as Walter E. Dellinger III, Douglas B. Maggs Professor Emeritus of Law.

“I am thrilled to join Duke, one of the country’s premier law schools,” said Charles. “This is an outstanding community of engaged scholars and learners under the leadership of a uniquely accomplished Dean, David Levi. I am honored by the opportunity to make Duke my academic home.”

At Duke Law, Charles is teaching a course on race and the law. His expertise in this area will guide the creation of a new research center at Duke Law, which will support research on and teaching of issues relating to race and politics.