David L. Franklin



Massey & Gail LLP
50 East Washington Street
Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60602

Office: 312.283.1590
Fax: 312.379.0467

David served as Illinois Solicitor General from August 2016 to January 2019.  As Solicitor General, David oversaw a staff of more than 40 appellate lawyers representing the State of Illinois and its agencies and employees in civil and criminal appeals.  He has briefed and argued cases in the United States Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Illinois Supreme Court.  David’s merits brief on behalf of the state respondents in Janus v. AFSCME won the National Association of Attorneys General’s Best Brief Award in 2018.

A professor at DePaul University College of Law since 2004, David teaches and writes in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, and conflict of laws.  His writing has appeared in, among other places, the Yale Law Journal, Iowa Law Review, Chicago-Kent Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, The New Republic, Slate, Green Bag, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post.  David was the primary author of the latest edition of the leading Conflict of Laws casebook, co-authored with Larry Kramer and Kermit Roosevelt.

David graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and received his J.D. with high honors from the University of Chicago.  He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Stephen F. Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court. After his clerkships and before entering academia, he was an associate at Covington & Burling in New York.

  • University of Chicago School of Law, J.D. with high honors, 1997
  • Yale University, B.A. summa cum laude, 1990
  • Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, United States Supreme Court, 1999-2000
  • Judge Stephen F. Williams, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 1997-98
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Advisor, American Law Institute, Restatement (Third) of Conflict of Laws (2015-present)
  • University of Chicago Law Review, Managing and Book Review Editor
  • Member, Order of the Coif
  • Winner, Edward W. Hinton Moot Court competition, (1996-1997)
  • Thomas R. Mulroy Prize, with highest distinction, for excellence in appellate advocacy
  • Board Member, Chicago Lawyer Chapter, American Constitution Society
  • Conflict of Laws, Cases—Comments—Questions (10th ed. 2018) (with Larry Kramer & Kermit Roosevelt)
  • “Origin Story,” Slate (June 29, 2015)
  • “Why Did Roberts Do It?,” Slate (June 28, 2012)
  • Marbury v. Medicine,” Slate (March 26, 2012)
  • Two Cheers for Procedural Review of Guidance Documents, 90 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 111 (2012)
  • Legislative Rules, Nonlegislative Rules, and the Perils of the Short Cut, 120 Yale L. J. 276 (2010)
  • Justice Ginsburg’s Common Law Federalism, 43 New Eng. L. Rev. 751 (2010)
  • Looking Through Both Ends of the Telescope: Facial Challenges and the Roberts Court, 36 Hastings Const. L. Q. 689 (2009)
  • Facial Challenges, Legislative Purpose, and the Commerce Clause, 92 Iowa L. Rev. 41 (2006)
  • Briefed and argued Janus v. AFSCME in United States Supreme Court on behalf of State of Illinois as respondent, defending the constitutionality of public-sector union fair-share fees against First Amendment challenge.
  • Briefed Trump v. Hawaii in United States Supreme Court on behalf of State of Illinois as co-lead amicus curiae (with New York), challenging the constitutionality of Executive Order banning entry of nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries.
  • Briefed and argued Tennessee Wine & Spirits v. Blair in United States Supreme Court on behalf of State of Illinois and 34 States as amici curiae, defending the constitutionality of residency requirements for liquor retailers under the Twenty-First Amendment and the dormant Commerce Clause.
  • Successfully briefed and argued an appeal in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the members of the Illinois State Board of Elections, defending Illinois’s election-day registration system against Equal Protection Clause challenge.
  • Successfully briefed and argued an appeal in the Illinois Supreme Court defending the authority of the Illinois Governor under the state constitution to remove a member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.