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Professor Meltzer's primary scholarly interests are in the fields of federal courts and criminal procedure, but he has also taught or published in the fields of constitutional law, remedies, and comparative U.S./European federalism. He is the co-author of several editions of Hart & Wechsler's The Federal Courts and the Federal System and has published widely in law journals.
He graduated from Harvard College in 1972 and from Harvard Law School in 1975, where he served as President of the Harvard Law Review and was awarded the Fay Diploma. Upon graduation, he served as a law clerk to Judge Carl McGowan of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. From 1977-78, he served as Special Assistant to Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Thereafter, he practiced law at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. for three years, until he joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1982.
From 2009-10, he served as the Principal Deputy Counsel to the President. After leaving that position, he was appointed as a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and of the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB). He continues to serve on both, and in 2013 was appointed Chairman of IOB.
Professor Meltzer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and served for more than ten years as a member of the Council of the American Law Institute. He has served as a member of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the United States Judicial Conference and as an Associate Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, Iran-Contra Prosecution. He has also been an Advisor to the American Law Institute’s Projects on Revision of the Federal Judicial Code, the Revision of the Model Penal Code’s Sentencing Provisions, the Revision of the Model’ Penal Code’s Capital Punishment Provision, and the Revision of the Model Penal Code’s Provisions on Sexual Assaults, as well as an Advisor to the Subcommittee on the Relationship of State and Federal Courts, Federal Courts Study Committee, Judicial Conference of the United States. In the past he has been a member of the Advisory Committee of the Nieman Foundation and President of the Board of the Guidance Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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