Since 2009, Judge Michael McConnell has served as Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. Past professional posts include teaching at the University of Utah, the University of Chicago, Harvard, and New York University School of Law, as well as assistant to the solicitor general with the U. S. Department of Justice. He has conducted eleven arguments before the U. S. Supreme Court and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996. He is particularly interested in constitutional law and theory, with an emphasis in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. In late 2002 the Senate approved Michael McConnell's nomination to the U. S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.