Clark Cunningham

Georgia State University College of Law

Professor Clark D. Cunningham holds the W. Lee Burge Chair in Law & Ethics at the Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta. He is an expert on applying linguistics to the interpretation of legal texts, in particular investigating the original meaning of the Constitution and Bill of Rights ( His Yale Law Journal article, Plain Meaning and Hard Cases, co-authored with three linguists, was cited by the Supreme Court in two of the three cases analyzed in that article. In a law review essay, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg praised the article as “accessible and useful to judges.” His semantic analysis of the meaning of “search” in the 4th Amendment received the annual scholarly paper award from the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). His on-line essay for The Conversation, Founders: Removal from office is not the only purpose of impeachment, has been viewed by more than 132,000 on-line readers and shared on more than 72,000 Facebook pages. He is a regular commentator for CourtTV ( on legal issues raised in the Trump impeachment and has developed a website, Resources on Presidential Impeachment, for teachers and scholars ( He is the current Chair of the AALS Section on Law and Interpretation. The research reported in this essay was also discussed in a recent posting by Professor Cunningham on Politico: The One Word Alan Dershowitz Gets Wrong in the Impeachment Clause: There's a reason the Founders didn't just end it at "high crimes" (Jan. 24, 2020).