Jonathan Turley

Portrait of Jonathan Turley
J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law; Director of the Environmental Law Advocacy Center; Executive Director, Project for Older Prisoners
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. After a stint at Tulane Law School, Professor Turley joined the GW Law faculty in 1990, and in 1998, became the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history. 

He is the founder and executive director of the Project for Older Prisoners (POPS). He has written more than three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals including those of Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, and Northwestern Universities, among others. He most recently completed a three-part study of the historical and constitutional evolution of the military system. 

Professor Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades, including his representation of the Area 51 workers at a secret air base in Nevada; the nuclear couriers at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the Rocky Flats grand jury in Colorado; Dr. Eric Foretich, the husband in the Elizabeth Morgan custody controversy; and four former U.S. Attorney Generals during the Clinton impeachment litigation. Professor Turley also has served as counsel in a variety of national security and terrorism cases, and has been ranked as one of the top 10 lawyers handling military cases.

He has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues, and is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues as well as tort reform legislation. He also is a nationally recognized legal commentator; he ranked 38th in the top 100 most cited ‘public intellectuals’ in a recent study by Judge Richard Posner and was found to be the second most cited law professor in the country. 

He is a member of the USA Today board of contributors and the recipient of the “2005 Single Issue Advocate of the Year” – the annual opinion award for the Aspen Institute and The Week magazine. More than 400 of his articles on legal and policy issues regularly appear in national newspapers. He also has worked as the CBS and NBC legal analyst, respectively, during national controversies.



BA, University of Chicago; JD, Northwestern University

In the News

"Presidential Power Key Issue in Court Confirmation Fight"

July 19, 2018

Jonathan Turley is quoted in VOA about Brett Kavanaugh's view of presidential power.

"Democrats Cry Foul, But Brett Kavanaugh's View of Independent Counsels Is Unrelated to Mueller Probe, Experts Say"

July 18, 2018

Jonathan Turley is quoted in Newsweek about the distinctions between an independent counsel and a special counsel.

"Brett Kavanaugh Would Bring Pro-Surveillance Record to Supreme Court"

July 17, 2018

Jonathan Turley is quoted in the Washington Examiner on how Judge Kavanaugh has positioned himself at the outer limits of executive power.

"Seeking Asylum Does Not Make Illegal Entry Into America Legal"

July 12, 2018
Jonathan Turley writes in The Hill about the law that says asylum-seekers can be prosecuted if they have entered the United States illegally.

"The Supreme Court Won't Stop Executive Overreach"

July 12, 2018

Jonathan Turley is quoted in The Wall Street Journal about the expanding authority of both federal agencies and presidents.