Woodrow Wilson

Department of Politics

David M. O'Brien

Professor O’Brien passed away on December 20, 2018 after a brief illness.

David M. O’Brien was the Leone Reaves and George W. Spicer Professor at the University of Virginia.

Mr. O’Brien had been a Judicial Fellow and Research Associate at the Supreme Court of the U.S., held Fulbright Teaching and Research Awards at Oxford University, England (1987-1988), the University of Bologna, Italy(1999), and in Japan (Summers, 1993 and 1994), and was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York (1981-1982), and Visiting Professor at Institut d’Etudes Politique Universite Lumiere-Lyon 2 (2006), as well as Fulbright Specialist Lecturer on Constitutional Law and Politics at Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Ro Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2017), and a  Fudan Senior Fellow -2017 and 2018 (Summers) at Fudan University Law School, Shanghai, China. He served as a commissioner on the U.S.–Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Exchange and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission.

He authored numerous books and over 100 articles, including Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics (11th ed. W.W. Norton), which received the ABA’s Silver Gavel Award; a two-volume casebook, Constitutional Law and Politics ( 10th ed., W.W. Norton); and an annual Supreme Court Watch (1991 – 2015, W.W. Norton); Justice Robert H. Jackson’s Unpublished Opinion in Brown v. Board: Conflict, Compromise, and Constitutional Interpretation (University Press of Kansas, 2017), Animal Sacrifice & Religious Freedom: The Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah (University Press of Kansas, 2004), and To Dream of Dreams: Religious Freedom and Constitutional Politics in Postwar Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 1996), among other books . In addition, he edited several books and co-authored others, including Judges on Judging: Views from the Bench (5th ed., C.Q. Press, 2016), The Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Judicial Politics (C.Q. Press, 2016),  and Judicial Independence: Critical Perspectives from Around the World ( University of Virginia Press, 2001).