Tom Donnelly is a Ph.D. candidate in Politics at Princeton University. He has also served as a Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies at the National Constitution Center, as a Lecturer in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Political Science, as Counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, and as a law clerk for the Hon. Thomas Ambro on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Tom is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was a Projects Editor for The Yale Law Journal and a Coker Fellow. While at Yale, Tom also received the Judge William E. Miller Prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. Tom’s academic writings have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Wisconsin Law Review, the B.Y.U. Law Review, and Constitutional Commentary, among other law journals, and he has written popular pieces for various outlets, including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Politico, Slate, Washington Monthly, Talking Points Memo,, The Huffington Post, The Hill, and several regional newspapers throughout the country. Before receiving his law degree, Tom worked as an analyst at the Mellman Group, a polling firm. Tom received his B.A., summa cum laude, in Government and Philosophy from Georgetown University.  Tom’s Dissertation (“From Lincoln’s Justices to the Fuller Court Revolution: Race, Class, and the Rise of the Modern Supreme Court”) focuses on the role of Supreme Court nominations in the constitutional politics of Reconstruction.

Tom’s SSRN Page:


Selected Publications

Popular Constitutionalism Inside the Courts: The Search for Popular Meaning, 57 U.C. Davis. L. Rev. (Forthcoming 2023-24).  

The Roberts Court Revolution, Institutional Legitimacy, and the Promise (and Peril) of Constitutional Statesmanship, 26 U. Penn. J. Const. L. (Forthcoming 2023-24).

Supreme Court Legitimacy: A Turn to Constitutional Practice, 47 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 1487 (2022) (“Download of the Week” on Legal Theory Blog).

Popular Constitutional Argument, 73 Vand. L. Rev. 73 (2020) (“Highly Recommended. Download It While It’s Hot!” by Legal Theory Blog).

The Popular Constitutional Canon, 27 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 911 (2019) (“Highly Recommended” by Legal Theory Blog).

Judicial Popular Constitutionalism, 30 Const. Comment. 541 (2015).

Making Popular Constitutionalism Work, 2012 Wis. L. Rev. 159 (basis of a Washington Post op-ed, “The People’s Veto: A Way to Keep Courts in Check” and “Recommended” by Legal Theory Blog).

Note, Popular Constitutionalism, Civic Education, and the Stories We Tell Our Children, 118 Yale L.J. 948 (2009) (cited by President Biden’s “Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States”).