Virginia History Series
Historical Hall of Fame: Michael J. Klarman (b. ___) is an American legal historian and constitutional law scholar who
currently holds the Kirkland & Ellis Professorship at Harvard Law School.
Formerly, Dr. Klarman was the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law, Professor of History, and Elizabeth D. and Richard
A. Merrill Research Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law.
Dr. Klarman specializes in the constitutional history
of race. He contends that the Supreme Court of the United States has historically been hostile to the rights of minorities and has
not consistently enforced constitutional protections for them. Klarman argues that civil rights protections arise out of social mores
from which the court takes its cue.
His published works include:
o "Is the Supreme Court Sometimes Irrelevant? Race and
the Southern Criminal Justice System in the 1940s", Journal of American History, June 2002
o From Jim Crow to Civil Rights:
The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, University Press. 2004.
o Unfinished Business: racial equality in American
history, Oxford University Press, 2007; and,
o Brown versus Board of Education and the civil rights movement, Oxford
University Press, 2007
Dr. Klarman won the Bancroft Prize in 2005 for From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court
and the Struggle for Racial Equality (Oxford University Press).
In 2010, Professor Michael Klarman received the Class of 2010ís
Sacks-Freund Teaching Award in honor of his teaching ability, openness to student concerns, and contributions to student life at Harvard