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Carlton F.W. Larson

Professor of Law

Education

A.B., summa cum laude History, Harvard University 1997, Phi Beta Kappa

J.D., Yale Law School 2000

Biography

Carlton Larson is a scholar of American constitutional law and Anglo-American legal history. His constitutional law scholarship addresses a wide range of issues, including enemy combatant detentions, legacy preferences in public universities, the historical basis of Second Amendment rights, and parents’ rights to name their children. As a legal historian, he focuses primarily on eighteenth-century America, and has written extensively about treason prosecutions in revolutionary Pennsylvania.

Professor Larson’s scholarship has been cited by numerous federal and state courts and has been profiled in The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, and many other publications. He is a frequent commentator on public radio and regularly advises the state legislature on pending legislation.

Professor Larson is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, where he was an Articles Editor of The Yale Law Journal. Prior to joining the UC Davis law faculty, Professor Larson served as a law clerk to Judge Michael Daly Hawkins of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and spent three years as a commercial litigator at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC.

Subject Areas

Constitutional Law, Legal History, Federal Courts

Courses Taught

  • Constitutional Law I
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Legal History

Selected Career Highlights

  • Litigation Associate, Covington & Burling, Washington, DC, 2001-2004
  • Law Clerk, Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2000-2001
  • Articles Editor, The Yale Law Journal
  • Executive Editor, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities

Selected Publications

Teaching Legal History at a Small Law School, 53 AM. J. LEGAL HIST. 389 (2013), reprinted in TEACHING LEGAL HISTORY: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES 224 (Robert M. Jarvis ed., 2014)

What if Chief Justice Fred Vinson Had Not Died in 1953?: Implications for Brown and Beyond, 45 Indiana Law Review 131 (2011)(Symposium Essay)

Naming Baby: The Constitutional Dimensions of Parental Naming Rights, 80 George Washington Law Review 159 (2011)

Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, the Jury System, and American Democracy, 43 Arizona State Law Journal 49 (2011) (Tribute Essay)

18th Century Law, in 3 AMERICAN CENTURIES: THE IDEAS, ISSUES, AND TRENDS THAT MADE U.S. HISTORY (Brendan McConville ed., 2011)

Legacy Preferences and the Constitutional Prohibition of Titles of Nobility, in AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR THE RICH: LEGACY PREFERENCES IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS (Richard Kahlenberg ed., 2010)

Four Exceptions in Search of a Theory: District of Columbia v. Heller and Judicial Ipse Dixit, 60 HASTINGS LAW JOURNAL 1371 (2009)

The Revolutionary American Jury: A Case Study of the 1778-1779 Philadelphia Treason Trials, 61 SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1441 (2008) 

Titles of Nobility, Hereditary Privilege, and the Unconstitutionality of Legacy Preferences in Public School Admissions, 84 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1375 (2006) (published Nov. 2007)

The Forgotten Constitutional Law of Treason and the Enemy Combatant Problem, 154 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW 863 (2006)

Book Review: Paul Douglas Newman, Fries's Rebellion: The Enduring Struggle for the American Revolution, 24 LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW 684 (2006)

Blackstone and the Common Law of Prior Restraints, 1 THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES 151 (Paul Finkelman ed., 2006)

Book Review: John Barrell, Imagining the King's Death: Figurative Treason, Fantasies of Regicide, 1793-1796, 21 LAW AND HISTORY REVIEW 411 (2003)

The Declaration of Independence: A 225th Anniversary Re-Interpretation, 76 WASHINGTON LAW REVIEW 701 (2001)

Bearing False Witness, 108 YALE LAW JOURNAL 1155 (1999)

Recovering the Congresses' Constitution, 10 YALE JOURNAL OF LAW AND HUMANITIES 647 (1998)