Area of Expertise
Supreme Court; Constitional Law; First Amendment; Law and Government
Biography Stephen Wermiel is a Professor of Practice in Constitutional Law and part of the Program on Law and Government at American University Washington College of Law. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association (ABA) and also sits in the ABA House of Delegates, He is past chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice (CRSJ) (formerly Individual Rights and Responsibilities) and author of a monthly column on SCOTUSblog aimed at explaining the Supreme Court to law students. He is co-author of JUSTICE BRENNAN: LIBERAL CHAMPION, the definitive biography of the late Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in hardcover 2010 and by University Press of Kansas in paperback in 2013. He is also co-author of THE PROGENY: JUSTICE WILLIAM J. BRENNAN’S FIGHT TO PRESERVE THE LEGACY OF NEW YORK TIMES V. SULLIVAN, published by ABA Publishing in 2014. At the Washington College of Law, he serves as an adviser to and was past associate director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, in which Washington College of Law students teach constitutional law in the public high schools of Washington, D.C. He also is faculty adviser to the Moot Court Honor Society and serves on the advisory boards of the American University Law Review, Administrative Law Review and the Journal of Gender, Social Policy and Law. In the ABA, Wermiel was most recently a member of the Standing Committee on the Silver Gavel Awards, served as chair of the publications committee of CRSJ, and is a member of the editorial advisory boards of Communications Lawyer, the quarterly publication of the Forum on Communications Law, and Human Rights, the quarterly of CRSJ. He also co-chairs the Free Speech Free Press Committee of CRSJ. In January 2018, CRSJ honored Wermiel with the Robert F. Drinan Award for dedication and service to the section. Wermiel holds expertise in the U.S. Supreme Court, having covered the court for the Wall Street Journal from 1979 until 1991. Wermiel teaches constitutional law, First Amendment and a seminar on the workings of the Supreme Court. Early in his career, Wermiel was a Washington correspondent for the Boston Globe. While teaching in Atlanta in the 1990’s, he served on the board of directors and on the legal committee of the ACLU of Georgia.