1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

David M. O'Brien

Leone Reaves and George W. Spicer Professor of Politics

Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

American Politics
(434) 924-3474 S164

Gibson Hall
1540 Jefferson Park Ave (JPA)


David M. O’Brien is the Leone Reaves and George W. Spicer Professor at the University of Virginia. He has been a Judicial Fellow and Research Associate at the Supreme Court of the U.S.; and held Fulbright Teaching and Research Awards at Oxford University, England; the University of Bologna, Italy; and in Japan; as well as was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York, and a Visiting Professor at Institut d’Etudes Politique Universite Lumiere-Lyon 2. He is currently a commissioner on the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Exchange and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics (8 th ed. W.W. Norton), which received the ABA’s Silver Gavel Award; a two-volume casebook, Constitutional Law and Politics (7 th ed., W.W. Norton); and an annual Supreme Court Watch (W.W. Norton); Animal Sacrifice & Religious Freedom: The Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah (University of Kansas Press), and To Dream of Dreams: Religious Freedom and Constitutional Politics in Postwar Japan (University of Hawaii Press) . In addition, he has edited several books and co-authored others, including Government by the People (22 nd ed., Prentice Hall), Courts and Judicial Policymaking (Prentice-Hall), and Judicial Independence: Critical Perspectives from Around the World ( University of Virginia Press).