William Mellor

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William H. (Chip) Mellor serves as President and General Counsel of the Institute for Justice, which he co-founded. Mellor litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases nationwide protecting economic liberty, property rights, school choice and the First Amendment.

Under his leadership, the Institute for Justice litigated or helped pursue four landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases in a little over six years.  

Mellor co-authored with the Cato Institute's Bob Levy The Dirty Dozen:  How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom, which takes on twelve Supreme Court cases that effectively amended the Constitution and yet are not well known to most Americans.  In The Dirty Dozen, Mellor and Levy argue for a Supreme Court that will enforce what the Constitution actually says about civil liberties, property rights and many other controversial issues.

Mellor personally litigated lawsuits that broke open Denver's 50-year-old taxi monopoly, ended the funeral industry's monopoly on casket sales in Tennessee, and defended New Jersey's welfare reform.  Mellor launched the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago. He has teamed up with University of Chicago professor Richard Epstein on amicus briefs in many property rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mellor has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Sun, Boston Globe, New York Post, Forbes, National Law Journal, Reason, National Review, Investor's Business Daily, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The Today Show, and numerous other radio and television broadcasts and publications.

From 1986 until 1991, Mellor served as president of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, a nationally recognized "think tank" located in San Francisco. Under his leadership, the Institute commissioned and published the path-breaking books on civil rights, property rights, technology and the First Amendment that serve as the Institute for Justice's long-term, strategic litigation blueprint.

Prior to his time at the Pacific Research Institute, Mellor served in the Reagan Administration as Deputy General Counsel for Legislation and Regulations in the Department of Energy. From 1979 to 1983, he practiced public interest law with Mountain States Legal Foundation in Denver, Colorado. Mellor received his J.D. from the University of  Denver School of Law in 1977. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1973.

Chip is a board member of the Property and Environment Research Center, the nation's oldest and largest institute dedicated to original research that brings market principles to resolving environmental problems.


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