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Jonathan R. Turley Faculty Member


  • Director, LAW , Law 1990 -
  • Director, LAW , Law 1991 -
  • Executive Director, LAW , Law 1995 -
  • Director, LAW , Law 1995 - 2004
  • JB. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest LawChaired Professor, LAW , Law - 1998
  • Professor, LAW , Law - 1993
  • Professor, LAW , Law - 1992
  • Associate Professor, LAW , Law - 1990
Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and other schools. After a stint at Tulane Law School, Professor Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was given the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history. In addition to his extensive publications, Professor Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades including the representation of whistleblowers, military personnel, former cabinet members, judges, members of Congress, and a wide range of other clients. He is also one of the few attorneys to successfully challenge both a federal and a state law. In 2010, Professor Turley represented Judge G. Thomas Porteous in his impeachment trial. The trial before all 100 U.S. Senators was only the 14th time in history of the country that such a trial of a judge has reached the Senate floor. In November 2014, Turley served as lead counsel to the United States House of Representatives in its successful constitutional challenge to changes ordered by President Obama to the Affordable Care Act. He has also represented four former attorneys general and high-ranking members of all three branches of government. He has also served as lead counsel in some of the most famous espionage and national security cases in the last two decades, including the Area 51 litigation and the Daniel King espionage case. He was also lead counsel in the World Bank protest case leading to the largest settlements in history for the one-day arrests of journalists and observers. Professor Turley is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues as well as tort reform legislation, including the Senate confirmation hearings of cabinet members and jurists like Justice Neil Gorsuch. He appeared as an expert witness in both the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. In the Trump impeachment, he was the only witness called by the Republicans. In the hearing, Professor Turley opposed the proposed articles of impeachments on bribery, extortion, campaign finance violations or obstruction of justice as legally flawed. The committee ultimately rejected those articles and adopted the only two articles that Professor Turley said could be legitimately advanced: abuse of power, obstruction of Congress. Chairman Jerrold Nadler ended the hearing by quoting his position on abuse of power. However, Turley opposed impeachment on this record as incomplete and insufficient for submission to the Senate. He encouraged the Committee to wait to vote on impeachment until March or April to secure needed testimony and supportive court orders. Professor Turley’s scholarship was cited by both the House Managers and the White House counsel in their Senate trial, including the showing of videotaped remarks on the interpretation of the constitutional standard. Professor Turley is also a nationally recognized legal commentator. Professor Turley was ranked as 38th in the top 100 most cited “public intellectuals” (and second most cited law professor) in the study by Judge Richard Posner. He has been repeatedly ranked in the nation’s top 500 lawyers in annual surveys. In prior years, he was ranked as one of the nation’s top ten lawyers in military law cases. He has been ranking among the top lawyers and legal experts in the world on various international surveys as well one of the 100 most best known law professors in history. Professor Turley’s articles on legal and policy issues appear regularly in national publications with hundreds of articles in such newspapers as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. He is a columnist for USA Today, the Washington Post and The Hill newspapers. He is currently the legal analyst for CBS and BBC. He has previously worked as a legal analyst for NBC, CBS, and Fox News. His award-winning blog is routinely ranked as one of the most popular legal blogs. His blog was received various awards and, in 2013, the ABA Journal inducted the Turley Blog (ResIpsa) into its Hall of Fame. Professor Turley received his B.A. at the University of Chicago and his J.D. at Northwestern. In 2008, he was given an honorary Doctorate of Law from John Marshall Law School for his contributions to civil liberties and the public interest.

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