Supervisor: Brian Leiter <>
Announced end of poll: August 10, 2011
Actual time poll closed:
This is a public poll.
Actual votes cast: 102
Number of winning choices:
Condorcet completion rule:    (What is this?)
Schulze/Beatpath/CSSD
CIVS Ranked Pairs
MAM
Condorcet-IRV

Poll description

Who has been the most important constitutional theorist in the history of the United States? Only non-living scholars, lawyers and jurists are eligible.

Result

1. John Marshall  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. John Hart Ely  loses to John Marshall by 57–31
3. Alexander Bickel  loses to John Marshall by 58–28, loses to John Hart Ely by 53–32
4. Joseph Story  loses to John Marshall by 59–12, loses to Alexander Bickel by 38–37
5. Louis Brandeis  loses to John Marshall by 58–21, loses to Joseph Story by 39–33
6. Herbert Wechsler  loses to John Marshall by 60–22, loses to Louis Brandeis by 42–37
7. Felix Frankfurter  loses to John Marshall by 65–13, loses to Herbert Wechsler by 43–33
8. Hugo Black  loses to John Marshall by 68–12, loses to Felix Frankfurter by 34–33
9. Henry Hart  loses to John Marshall by 58–14, loses to Hugo Black by 39–30
10. Gerald Gunther  loses to John Marshall by 65–9, loses to Henry Hart by 37–22
11. Zechariah Chafee, Jr.  loses to John Marshall by 64–9, loses to Gerald Gunther by 27–23
12. Thomas M. Cooley  loses to John Marshall by 59–8, loses to Gerald Gunther by 26–21
13. Edward S. Corwin  loses to John Marshall by 62–8, loses to Thomas M. Cooley by 26–19
14. Raoul Berger  loses to John Marshall by 64–12, loses to Edward S. Corwin by 27–25
15. Paul Freund  loses to John Marshall by 60–11, loses to Raoul Berger by 28–27
16. Harry Kalven, Jr.  loses to John Marshall by 62–7, loses to Paul Freund by 26–19
17. Thomas I. Emerson  loses to John Marshall by 58–6, loses to Harry Kalven, Jr. by 18–17
18. Philip B. Kurland  loses to John Marshall by 65–4, loses to Thomas I. Emerson by 23–13
19. Robert G. McCloskey  loses to John Marshall by 60–9, loses to Philip B. Kurland by 23–19
20. Tied:
Walter P. Murphy  loses to John Marshall by 64–4, loses to Robert G. McCloskey by 20–18
Albert M. Sacks  loses to John Marshall by 66–5, loses to Robert G. McCloskey by 25–23

For simplicity, some details of the poll result are not shown.  

Result details

  123456789101112131415161718192021
1. John Marshall   -57 58 59 58 60 65 68 58 65 64 59 62 64 60 62 58 65 60 64 66
2. John Hart Ely   31 -53 45 51 59 59 61 64 67 65 61 60 68 69 68 62 67 68 68 68
3. Alexander Bickel   28 32 -38 47 54 57 58 58 60 63 52 59 62 60 60 55 62 61 59 61
4. Joseph Story   12 36 37 -39 46 46 48 44 49 50 47 50 46 50 49 43 52 49 50 52
5. Louis Brandeis   21 33 33 33 -42 50 47 45 53 51 46 53 53 50 50 45 52 53 55 57
6. Herbert Wechsler   22 26 23 27 37 -43 48 43 51 53 47 47 54 54 57 48 57 56 52 55
7. Felix Frankfurter   13 19 20 22 17 33 -34 33 40 41 39 40 45 39 42 40 43 41 45 46
8. Hugo Black   12 20 19 24 20 30 33 -39 45 43 42 42 43 46 48 38 44 47 48 47
9. Henry Hart   14 15 15 23 26 26 32 30 -37 39 38 36 39 39 43 37 45 43 41 47
10. Gerald Gunther   9 11 11 14 13 20 20 20 22 -27 26 26 33 31 29 26 34 35 34 37
11. Zechariah Chafee, Jr.   9 11 4 12 12 14 18 18 17 23 -21 22 26 28 24 22 28 28 28 30
12. Thomas M. Cooley   8 14 16 10 15 20 17 19 18 21 24 -26 25 23 24 22 26 27 29 31
13. Edward S. Corwin   8 13 9 9 8 17 16 18 20 23 22 19 -27 28 25 23 28 27 31 33
14. Raoul Berger   12 9 7 17 14 16 15 21 22 21 25 26 25 -28 30 24 34 31 30 35
15. Paul Freund   11 7 7 11 13 15 19 17 19 17 19 22 21 27 -26 22 28 28 29 28
16. Harry Kalven, Jr.   7 5 4 8 12 7 13 12 9 18 11 18 16 18 19 -18 18 22 20 22
17. Thomas I. Emerson   6 6 6 12 10 10 12 16 13 17 14 18 18 21 21 17 -23 19 21 23
18. Philip B. Kurland   4 7 5 5 10 9 15 16 11 11 15 17 17 18 18 19 13 -23 21 26
19. Robert G. McCloskey   9 4 5 10 8 9 14 12 11 12 15 18 15 20 17 18 20 19 -20 25
20. Walter P. Murphy   4 4 6 6 7 11 10 11 12 11 11 12 10 18 15 15 13 17 18 -21
21. Albert M. Sacks   5 8 6 10 9 11 14 17 6 14 18 16 14 20 17 22 19 20 23 21 -

Ballot report

 Raoul Berger Alexander Bickel Hugo Black Louis Brandeis Zechariah Chafee, Jr. Thomas M. Cooley Edward S. Corwin John Hart Ely Thomas I. Emerson Felix Frankfurter Paul Freund Gerald Gunther Henry Hart Harry Kalven, Jr. Philip B. Kurland Robert G. McCloskey John Marshall Walter P. Murphy Albert M. Sacks Joseph Story Herbert Wechsler
1. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21
2. No opinion 2 6 6 6 No opinion No opinion 3 No opinion 9 No opinion 10 7 4 No opinion No opinion 1 11 No opinion 5 8
3. 2 7 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 5 4 21 1 21 21 3 6
4. 15 2 8 5 6 20 17 3 13 4 14 16 18 12 19 7 1 9 21 10 11
5. 21 21 21 21 21 19 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 20 21 2 21
6. 20 5 10 9 7 3 14 4 17 11 12 18 8 13 19 16 1 15 21 2 6
7. 3 8 19 2 11 20 14 4 11 21 17 6 12 13 18 9 1 7 15 5 16
8. 16 8 5 6 20 7 9 4 14 3 18 16 11 12 17 19 1 21 18 2 10
9. 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
10. 17 3 10 7 No opinion 2 5 6 No opinion 16 12 11 14 18 15 13 1 8 19 1 9
11. 14 7 5 8 11 9 12 13 18 3 15 10 4 19 17 20 1 21 16 2 6
12. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
13. 5 4 10 6 12 9 8 3 No opinion 7 13 No opinion 14 No opinion 15 No opinion 1 No opinion No opinion 2 11
14. 21 21 4 4 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 4 21 1 21 21 1 21
15. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
16. 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
17. 21 3 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 4 21 5
18. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 3 4 21 21 5 6
19. 20 5 15 17 21 18 19 2 14 16 11 1 6 10 9 4 12 13 7 3 8
20. 12 6 10 5 4 3 7 11 No opinion 8 No opinion 13 15 No opinion 17 18 1 14 16 2 9
21. 14 3 10 6 15 2 19 4 13 7 8 1 11 18 16 21 5 20 17 9 12
22. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
23. 12 3 8 10 6 4 13 2 17 9 18 14 15 16 20 19 7 11 21 5 1
24. 3 4 9 10 20 11 20 2 20 6 20 12 7 20 20 20 1 20 20 5 7
25. 21 4 21 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 3
26. 17 16 18 2 1 11 3 6 8 7 21 14 9 19 20 5 4 12 13 10 15
27. 9 7 21 5 21 21 21 4 21 6 21 21 2 21 21 21 1 21 21 3 8
28. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
29. 5 8 8 2 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 2
30. 6 1 9 17 21 12 14 4 3 20 5 11 10 7 13 16 8 18 19 15 2
31. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 21 3 21 21 21 3
32. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
33. 15 1 13 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 16 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
34. 9 4 10 11 No opinion No opinion 12 3 No opinion 13 8 6 5 No opinion No opinion No opinion 1 No opinion No opinion 2 7
35. 21 21 4 1 21 21 21 5 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 21 3 21 21 21 21
36. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
37. 21 10 16 11 9 3 6 8 11 21 12 7 13 15 17 5 1 14 10 2 4
38. 20 7 5 2 10 11 8 4 15 6 16 14 9 13 18 19 1 17 12 3 8
39. 21 21 3 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 21 21
40. 13 2 20 19 4 7 8 1 3 21 12 6 16 5 11 15 17 14 18 9 10
41. 21 10 16 15 19 20 18 7 6 5 10 14 8 5 11 16 3 9 17 5 4
42. No opinion 2 3 3 2 1 No opinion 3 No opinion 3 No opinion 4 4 2 No opinion No opinion 1 No opinion 4 2 2
43. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
44. 17 12 1 2 21 21 9 13 21 6 21 14 21 21 19 20 21 17 21 No opinion 11
45. 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 6 21 21 21 21 7 21 21 21 2 21 3 5 4
46. 5 1 6 4 15 18 19 10 17 2 8 11 3 13 20 14 16 7 21 9 12
47. 8 3 7 2 21 21 21 4 21 13 10 5 6 21 21 21 1 21 12 9 11
48. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1
49. 21 21 1 1 21 21 21 2 21 2 21 21 4 21 21 21 4 21 21 21 3
50. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
51. 18 7 21 3 10 4 6 8 16 12 11 13 2 19 14 9 5 15 20 1 17
52. 21 8 3 2 21 21 21 5 21 10 12 9 7 21 21 21 1 21 11 4 6
53. 21 5 3 5 8 9 15 15 18 17 20 19 6 16 14 13 1 4 11 7 10
54. 13 4 5 10 10 No opinion No opinion 2 No opinion 9 No opinion 12 7 10 No opinion 11 1 No opinion 8 6 3
55. No opinion 9 6 2 12 No opinion No opinion 8 1 11 13 7 3 10 No opinion 14 5 No opinion 3 5 2
56. 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 3
57. 21 3 4 5 9 8 11 2 14 7 19 12 6 13 15 10 1 16 16 17 18
58. 5 3 5 5 5 5 5 1 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 2 5 4
59. 9 8 6 5 13 4 7 21 21 3 14 21 10 21 21 21 1 21 11 2 12
60. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21
61. 21 3 21 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 21 21 5 21 21 21 1 21 21 6 4
62. 14 3 19 10 7 15 16 1 6 12 11 8 4 2 17 9 13 20 18 21 5
63. 8 11 5 7 12 21 18 2 21 4 21 3 6 21 21 16 15 21 21 17 1
64. 15 9 10 2 21 21 12 3 21 4 13 14 6 21 21 11 1 21 8 5 7
65. 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
66. 10 4 11 3 8 18 16 2 9 6 15 7 5 19 14 17 1 20 21 12 13
67. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21
68. 8 2 13 3 4 No opinion No opinion 14 No opinion 9 No opinion 6 5 No opinion 11 No opinion 1 No opinion 7 12 10
69. 17 3 4 11 14 18 21 2 20 7 6 8 10 16 12 19 1 15 13 5 8
70. 13 6 5 3 11 9 8 7 21 4 15 10 16 20 14 19 1 12 18 2 17
71. 21 21 21 1 21 7 21 21 21 5 3 4 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 6 21
72. 21 8 21 6 21 2 21 21 21 21 1 7 21 21 5 21 4 21 21 3 21
73. No opinion 3 No opinion No opinion No opinion No opinion No opinion 2 No opinion No opinion No opinion No opinion 1 No opinion No opinion No opinion No opinion No opinion 1 No opinion 4
74. 20 21 18 3 21 4 17 19 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 6 21
75. 21 21 21 3 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 2 21 4 21 21
76. 21 7 10 9 17 20 17 2 5 18 4 11 12 17 8 17 3 17 19 1 6
77. 7 5 3 8 1 21 21 2 21 6 21 10 9 4 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
78. 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
79. 21 1 6 2 21 21 21 4 21 5 9 7 21 21 21 8 3 21 21 21 21
80. 21 21 2 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
81. 11 5 12 18 10 17 6 15 21 13 7 4 9 14 3 21 1 21 16 2 8
82. 10 4 7 21 16 21 21 2 10 3 21 19 2 16 19 21 1 15 5 15 5
83. 21 4 5 2 21 21 21 6 21 6 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 3 8
84. 21 1 10 5 7 21 21 9 8 6 21 21 2 11 21 21 3 21 21 21 4
85. No opinion 3 6 5 10 7 No opinion 1 No opinion 8 No opinion No opinion No opinion No opinion No opinion No opinion 9 No opinion No opinion 2 4
86. 8 1 7 3 9 21 20 5 20 4 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 6 2
87. 21 21 21 3 21 21 21 4 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 1 21
88. 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 3
89. 13 6 14 3 15 No opinion 9 5 No opinion 4 16 10 18 No opinion 8 11 2 12 17 1 7
90. 15 1 3 17 11 13 10 5 16 6 14 4 8 9 2 12 18 21 20 19 7
91. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1
92. 3 2 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
93. 21 4 3 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 4 21 21 21 1 21 21 2 4
94. 21 4 5 3 7 21 21 2 6 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 1 21 21 20 19
95. 13 4 12 2 11 18 9 14 19 5 17 16 6 10 15 20 1 21 7 8 3
96. 21 21 21 3 21 21 21 21 21 4 1 21 21 21 21 2 21 21 21 21 21
97. 6 4 11 1 No opinion No opinion No opinion 10 No opinion 3 2 8 No opinion 12 9 No opinion 5 No opinion No opinion No opinion 7
98. 6 3 15 7 12 11 14 5 8 13 16 18 9 17 10 21 1 19 20 2 4
99. 3 2 12 6 21 21 7 1 21 11 21 21 5 21 21 8 9 21 21 10 4
100. 11 21 10 5 21 12 14 4 3 9 13 6 21 21 7 21 1 21 21 2 8
101. 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
102. 21 4 9 5 21 3 5 2 21 6 21 21 11 21 21 21 10 21 8 1 7

Ballots are shown in a randomly generated order.

[Download ballots in CSV format]

The following matrix shows the strength of the strongest beatpath connecting each pair of choices. Choice 1 is ranked above choice 2 if there is a stronger beatpath leading from 1 to 2 than any leading from 2 to 1.

  1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10.11.12.13.14.15.16.17.18.19.20.21.
1. John Marshall   -57–31 58–28 59–12 58–21 60–22 65–13 68–12 58–14 65–9 64–9 59–8 62–8 64–12 60–11 62–7 58–6 65–4 60–9 64–4 66–5
2. John Hart Ely   . -53–32 45–36 51–33 59–26 59–19 61–20 64–15 67–11 65–11 61–14 60–13 68–9 69–7 68–5 62–6 67–7 68–4 68–4 68–8
3. Alexander Bickel   . . -38–37 47–33 54–23 57–20 58–19 58–15 60–11 63–4 52–16 59–9 62–7 60–7 60–4 55–6 62–5 61–5 59–6 61–6
4. Joseph Story   . . . -39–33 46–27 46–22 48–24 44–23 49–14 50–12 47–10 50–9 46–17 50–11 49–8 46–27 52–5 49–10 50–6 52–10
5. Louis Brandeis   . . . . -42–37 50–17 47–20 45–26 53–13 51–12 46–15 53–8 53–14 50–13 50–12 45–10 52–10 53–8 55–7 57–9
6. Herbert Wechsler   . . . . . -43–33 48–30 43–26 51–20 53–14 47–20 47–17 54–16 54–15 57–7 48–10 57–9 56–9 52–11 55–11
7. Felix Frankfurter   . . . . . . -34–33 34–33 40–20 41–18 39–17 40–16 45–15 39–19 42–13 40–12 43–15 41–14 45–10 46–14
8. Hugo Black   . . . . . . . -39–30 45–20 43–18 42–19 42–18 43–21 46–17 48–12 38–16 44–16 47–12 48–11 47–17
9. Henry Hart   . . . . . . . . -37–22 39–17 38–18 36–20 39–22 39–19 43–9 37–13 45–11 43–11 41–12 47–6
10. Gerald Gunther   . . . . . . . . . -27–23 26–21 26–21 33–21 31–17 30–18 26–17 34–11 35–12 34–11 37–14
11. Zechariah Chafee, Jr.   . . . . . . . . . . -26–25 26–25 26–25 28–19 26–19 24–21 28–15 28–15 28–11 30–18
12. Thomas M. Cooley   . . . . . . . . . . 24–21 -26–19 26–19 26–19 26–19 24–21 26–17 27–18 29–12 31–16
13. Edward S. Corwin   . . . . . . . . . . 24–21 26–25 -27–25 28–21 27–25 24–21 28–17 28–21 31–10 33–14
14. Raoul Berger   . . . . . . . . . . 24–21 26–25 26–25 -28–27 30–18 24–21 34–18 31–20 30–18 35–20
15. Paul Freund   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -26–19 22–21 28–18 28–17 29–15 28–17
16. Harry Kalven, Jr.   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -20–19 20–19 22–18 20–15 22–18
17. Thomas I. Emerson   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19–18 -23–13 23–19 21–13 23–13
18. Philip B. Kurland   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19–18 20–19 -23–19 21–17 26–20
19. Robert G. McCloskey   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19–18 20–19 20–19 -20–18 25–23
20. Walter P. Murphy   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -.
21. Albert M. Sacks   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -