Clark Neily

Arlington, Virginia

General Specialty

Constitutional Law
Criminal Justice

Specialty Focus

Civil Forfeiture
Coercive Plea Bargaining
Constitutional Litigation
Criminal Justice
Gun Rights
Police Accountability

Clark Neily is senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute. His areas of interest include constitutional law, overcriminalization, coercive plea bargaining, police accountability, and gun rights. Before joining Cato in 2017, Neily was a senior attorney and constitutional litigator at the Institute for Justice and director of the Institute’s Center for Judicial Engagement.

Vice President in charge of Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice.

Neily is an adjunct professor at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia School of Law, where he teaches constitutional litigation and public‐​interest law. He served as co‐​counsel in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a gun.

Neily is the author of Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government. He also contributed a chapter to’s Visions of Liberty.



  • The University of Texas School of Law JD
    1991 – 1994
  • The University of Texas at Austin
    BA, Philosophy, Russian language
    1986 – 1990



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