Stephen L. Carter

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law

J.D., Yale Law School, 1979

B.A., Stanford University, 1976

Courses Taught
  • Contracts
  • Just War Theory
  • Law, Secrets, and Lying
  • Six Books on Law, Religion, and Culture
  • Trademarks & Unfair Competition
  • American Law of Slavery
  • Evidence
Stephen L. Carter

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1982. Among his recent courses are Contracts, Evidence, Law and Religion, the Ethics of War, Slavery and the Law, and Libertarian Legal Theory. He is the author of 15 books, including, among others, The Violence of Peace: America’s Wars in the Age of Obama (2010); God’s Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics (2000); Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy (1998); The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty (1998); The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning up the Federal Appointments Process (1994); and The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion (1993). His most recent volume, published in 2018, is Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer who Took Down America’s Biggest Mobster. He recently delivered the W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures at Harvard, which he is writing up for publication.

Professor Carter is also the author of six novels, including The Emperor of Ocean Park, which spent eleven weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, a fictional account of a trial of Lincoln in the Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors. In addition to his scholarship, he has published hundreds of opinion pieces. He was a long-time columnist for the Daily Beast and currently writes regularly for Bloomberg, mainly about law, but also about ethics and about popular culture. In addition, he formerly blogged about professional football for The Washington Post.

Professor Carter is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall at the United States Supreme Court, and earlier for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was the interviewer for Justice Marshall’s official oral history. Among the prizes Professor Carter’s work has received are the Louisville-Grawemeyer Award in Religion, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Fiction, and the Paul M. Bator Award. He has also served on the Pulitzer Prize fiction jury. Professor Carter is a fellow of several learned societies and a life member of the American Law Institute. He is a trustee of the Aspen Institute, where for 15 years he moderated seminars. He has received eight honorary degrees.



Back Channel, 2014

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, 2012

The Violence of Peace, 2011

Jericho's Fall, 2009

Palace Council, 2008

New England White, 2007

The Emperor of Ocean Park, 2002

God's Name in Vain, 2000

Civility, 1998

The Dissent of the Governed, 1998

Integrity, 1996

The Confirmation Mess, 1994

The Culture of Disbelief, 1993

Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, 1991