H. Jefferson Powell

H. Jefferson Powell


Associate Professor of Law

Biographical Information

H. Jefferson Powell earned a bachelor’s degree from St. David’s University College (now Trinity St. David) of the University of Wales; a master’s degree and PhD from Duke University; and a Master’s of Divinity and JD from Yale University. He was a law clerk to Judge Sam J. Ervin III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Powell's academic career began at the University of Iowa in 1984; in 1989, he joined the law faculty at Duke University. His career also includes visiting positions at Columbia, Yale and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His scholarship has addressed the history and ethical implications of American constitutionalism, the powers of the executive branch, and the role of the Constitution in legislative and judicial decision-making, among other subjects.



H. Jefferson Powell, The Gospel according to Roberto: A Theological Polemic, 1988 Duke Law Journal 1013 and 5 Modern Theology 97 (1989).
H. Jefferson Powell, Rules for Originalists, 73 Virginia Law Review 659 (1987).
H. Jefferson Powell, Parchment Matters: A Meditation on the Constitution as Text, 71 Iowa Law Review 1427 (1986).
H. Jefferson Powell, The Original Understanding of Original Intent, 98 Harvard Law Review 885 (1985).

Book Reviews

H. Jefferson Powell, “The Modern Misunderstanding of Original Intent,” review of Federalism: The Founders’ Design, by Raoul Berger. 54 University of Chicago Law Review 1513 (1987).
H. Jefferson Powell, “Constitutional Law as though the Constitution Mattered,” review of American Constitutional Interpretation, by Walter F. Murphy, James E. Fleming, and William F. Harris. 1986 Duke Law Journal 915 (1986).
H. Jefferson Powell, “Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution: A Belated Review,” review of Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story. 94 Yale Law Journal 1285 (1985).