Political Theorist, Public Law Expert Inazu Appointed to Faculty

Political theorist and public law expert John D. Inazu has accepted a position as associate professor of law, effective July 1, 2011. Inazu, who holds a Ph.D. in political science as well as a law degree, will join the Washington University law faculty from Duke University. At Duke, he is serving as a visiting assistant professor, where he teaches courses in administrative law and law and religion. He previously was an associate general counsel in the Office of the Air Force General Counsel’s Honors Program and a law clerk for Judge Roger L. Wollman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

“We are delighted that John has accepted our offer to join the law faculty,” says Kent Syverud, dean and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor. “He is an extraordinarily promising scholar and teacher whose commitment to addressing issues in legal and political theory—and law and religion—will benefit our students and many parts of our University, including the Danforth Center on Religion & Politics.”

“John is a thoughtful scholar of First Amendment law who is taking on some of the big questions of political and religious freedom and their roles in a liberal democracy,” adds Neil Richards, professor of law and chair of this year’s Faculty Appointments Committee. “He’s made important contributions to the scholarly debates in these areas, and other scholars in these fields are already taking account of his work.”

A prolific author, Inazu has a book forthcoming from Yale University Press and an article in the Tulane Law Review on the First Amendment freedom of assembly. His other publications include recent articles on the freedom of association in the Tennessee Law Review and Connecticut Law Review, as well as articles on First Amendment charitable solicitation law in the Marquette Law Review, the role of forgiveness in transitional justice in the Human Rights Review, and the benefit theory of “allocability” in the Public Contract Law Journal. His current scholarship focuses on questions of political and legal theory related to religious freedom and broader aspects of First Amendment theory. Inazu has presented his scholarship at conferences and workshops throughout the United States. He will be teaching courses in criminal law and law and religion at Washington University.

Inazu received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1997 from Duke University, where he was an Air Force ROTC Distinguished Graduate. He then earned his law degree in 2000 from Duke and his Ph.D. in political science in 2009 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster, Jr. Fellow.

Inazu served as associate general counsel for the Office of the Air Force General Counsel (National Security & Military Affairs) from 2000–04. During his tenure, he focused on issues ranging from sexual assault at the Air Force Academy to the legal review of policies and practices of the Civil Air Patrol. He also counseled military witnesses providing testimony to the 9/11 Commission and handled various legal matters related to military procurements and bid protests.

Inazu is a member of the Colorado Bar, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Bar, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Bar.