Michael I. Meyerson

Endowed by Our Creator

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“A very fine examination of the role that religion, and religious conflict, has played in our American story. Artfully blending history and narrative, Meyerson breathes life into an often misunderstood story, examining the beliefs of our founders, and showing how those beliefs did not always determine their policy decisions... This is a wonderful book, a needed corrective to the heat that often defines the current debate.”

Publishers Weekly

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Michael I. MeyersonAbout Michael I. Meyerson

I am a Professor of Law and Piper & Marbury Faculty Fellow at the University of Baltimore, specializing in constitutional law and American legal history. 

I received my B.A. from Hampshire College in 1976 and my law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1979.  I also studied at Middlebury College and am still proud that I graduated from the Bronx High School of Science.  One of the most important lessons I learned at Hampshire College was the value of interdisciplinary work.  As an undergraduate, I was an American Studies major, which meant that I was able to study history, literature, economics, and political science and see how they all fit together.  At law school, I had the opportunity to study with George Haskins, a leading legal historian, as well as with Constitutional Law scholar Paul Bender. Both of them taught me that law, in its proper context, could be beautiful and exciting. As a law student, I also was fortunate to be able to work with two brilliant and caring lawyers, Will Hellerstein, then at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Appeals Bureau in New York City, and Joel Gora, then Associate Legal Director with the American Civil Liberties Union. [Interestingly, both are now on the faculty of Brooklyn Law School].  While supervising my writing a brief seeking to overturn a murder conviction, Will showed me that constitutional rights can only be protected if we understand their history — where they came from, why they were created, and why they were so valued.  Joel, who supervised my internship at the ACLU, continually demonstrated how legal decisions can affect the lives of ordinary people.

I have written three books, Endowed by Our Creator: The Birth of Religious Freedom in America (Yale University Press 2012); Liberty’s Blueprint: How Madison and Hamilton Wrote The Federalist Papers, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World (Basic Books 2008); and Political Numeracy: Mathematical Perspectives on Our Chaotic Constitution (W.W.Norton 2002). I am also co-author, with Dan Brenner and Monroe Price, of a treatise on cable television law, Cable Television and Other Nonbroadcast Media (Thomson Reuters1990 plus annual updates).

I have also written many scholarly law review articles and book chapters.  My favorites include, “The Irrational Supreme Court,” in the Nebraska Law Review, “Virtual Constitutions: The Creation of Rules for Governing Private Networks,” in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, and “The Pre-history of the Prior Restraint Doctrine:  Rediscovering the Link between the First Amendment and the Separation of Powers,” in the Indiana Law Review.

I am married and live in Ellicott City, Maryland.