Professor Peter Irons, Ph.D.,M.A., J.D.

Professor Peter Irons
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Boston University, Harvard Law School
Most of the conflicts that reach the Supreme Court reflect the tremendous diversity in American society. That diversity is part of the nation’s strength, of course, as people of different backgrounds and values work together to achieve common goals.

Dr. Peter Irons is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He earned his undergraduate degree from Antioch College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston University. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as senior editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Before taking his position at San Diego, Professor Irons taught at Boston College Law School and the University of Massachusetts. He has been a visiting professor at several law schools and served as the Raoul Wallenberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Rutgers University in 1988. A widely respected authority on the Supreme Court and constitutional litigation, Professor Irons wrote and edited 12 books, including Jim Crow's Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision. His books have won an unprecedented five ìSilver Gavelî awards from the American Bar Association for their contributions to ìpublic understanding of the American legal system.î Professor Irons received Outstanding Teaching Awards from three of the UCSD colleges. Professor Irons is also an active civil rights and liberties lawyer, and belongs to several state and federal bars, including the United States Supreme Court.


"This was a subject I had given little thought to, but Professor Irons made it absolutely fascinating. The stories of the people involved in these cases made the legal issues come alive."