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2014-2015 Supreme Court Fellows

Matthew A. Axtell
Matthew A. Axtell is the 2014-2015 Fellow assigned to the Federal Judicial Center. Mr. Axtell joins the Supreme Court Fellows Program from the New York University School of Law, where he was the Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal History for the 2013-2014 academic year. Mr. Axtell graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in History and received a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law where he won the Traynor Prize for Best Writing. After law school, he worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an Assistant Counsel for Environmental Law and then spent time in a law firm as an environmental law associate. Mr. Axtell is currently a doctoral candidate in Princeton University’s history department, focusing primarily on how legal concepts and actors have shaped, and been shaped by, markets, property relations, geography, and economic reasoning. Mr. Axtell has published widely on issues of environmental law and American legal history. He is the recipient of various research fellowships and grants including those from the Harvard Business School, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kentucky Historical Society, the Filson Historical Society, Indiana University – Bloomington, and the Harvard Institute for New Economic Thinking. In 2013, he was named a Kathryn T. Preyer Scholar and William Nelson Cromwell Fellow by the American Society for Legal History. Mr. Axtell will spend the fellowship year in the History Division of the Federal Judicial Center.

Isra H. Bhatty
Isra J. Bhatty is the 2014-2015 Fellow assigned to the United States Sentencing Commission. Ms. Bhatty joins the Fellows Program from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she is clerking for the Honorable David S. Tatel. She earned a B.A., with honors, in Economics and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and named a Student Marshal, the highest university academic honor. Ms. Bhatty then pursued a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she participated in a number of criminal justice-related clinics. In 2007, Ms. Bhatty was selected as a Rhodes Scholar and invited to study at the University of Oxford. An Emden Doctorow Scholar, she earned an M.Sc. in Evidence-based Social Intervention and a Ph.D. in Social Intervention. Her dissertation analyzed the effectiveness and constitutionality of faith-based reentry programs. Before clerking for Judge Tatel, Ms. Bhatty clerked for the Honorable Thomas F. Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, served as a summer associate at several law firms, and was a research fellow at Yale Law School. Ms. Bhatty will join the legal staff of the Sentencing Commission during her fellowship year.

Zachary D. Kaufman
Zachary D. Kaufman is the 2014-2015 Fellow assigned to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Mr. Kaufman joins the Fellows Program from Yale Law School, where he is a Visiting Fellow; the Yale Department of Political Science, where he is a Lecturer; and Harvard Law School, where he is a Visiting Researcher. Mr. Kaufman received a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University, where he was student body president and co-captain of the wrestling team; an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in International Relations from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Olin Fellow and Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law & Policy Review. A Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kaufman clerked for the Honorable Juan R. Torruella on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Previously, he served at the U.S. Departments of Justice and State, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court. His research focuses on international law, international relations, transitional justice, social entrepreneurship, and U.S. foreign policy. He has published widely—including two books (After Genocide and Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities)—and lectures frequently on these topics. Mr. Kaufman will spend the fellowship year in the Department of Program Services.

Derek A. Webb
Derek A. Webb is the 2014-2015 Fellow assigned to the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Webb joins the Fellows Program from the Stanford University Constitutional Law Center, where he is a Fellow and Lecturer in Law. After receiving a B.A. in philosophy from Yale University with honors, he earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Georgetown University with honors. He works in the fields of constitutional law, statutory interpretation, American political theory, and legal history. His publications include articles in Law and History Review, the American Journal of Legal History, and the South Carolina Law Review. Derek is the winner of the Warren E. Burger Prize from the American Inns of Court and the William B. Spong Moot Court Tournament at William and Mary Law School. At Stanford Law School he taught a seminar he designed called “Reading the Constitution.” He has held research and teaching fellowships at the University of Virginia and Princeton University, including the inaugural Wilson Carey McWilliams Fellowship at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, and summer clerkships in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Derek will spend the fellowship year in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice.


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