Pitt Law Professors David Harris and Anthony Infanti Appointed to Named Professorships

David A. Harris
Anthony C. Infanti

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has appointed Professor David A. Harris as the Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair and Professor Anthony C. Infanti as the Christopher C. Walthour, Sr. Endowed Professor of Law.

Professor Harris’s appointment as the Semenko Chair recognizes his extensive research and scholarly activities over the course of his career that have made him the nation’s leading authority on racial profiling, police-community relations, and police accountability. He has spoken about these issues at the White House and testified multiple times in Congress. In 2015, Harris received the Jefferson Award for his work bringing police and communities together in Pittsburgh and across the U.S.

In his most recent book, Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science (NYU Press, 2012), Harris explores the reasons that police and prosecutors continue to reject or ignore scientific findings on how to improve basic law enforcement tasks such as interrogating suspects, eyewitness identification, and basic forensic science. His groundbreaking book, Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (The New Press, 2002) brought the issue of racial profiling to the forefront of public consciousness and remains the definitive work on the subject today. 

“I am grateful to be part of Pitt Law and the University of Pittsburgh. Teaching at Pitt has given me the opportunity to apply my work in efforts to help communities, police, and attorneys and judges in Pittsburgh, and across the country. It's a rare privilege that I value very much,” said Harris.     

In March 2016, Harris launched a now widely subscribed-to podcast, “Criminal Injustice,” a program for lay audiences to hear Harris's interviews with police chiefs, judges, lawyers, writers, researchers and advocates across the country who work in criminal justice system. Now in its fifth season, Criminal Injustice reaches tens of thousands of listeners every month.

“Professor Harris is a productive, influential, and creative scholar and a true public intellectual,” said Pitt Law Dean William M. Carter, Jr. “He is also a highly effective and dedicated teacher, as recognized by his receipt of the Law School’s Excellence in Teaching Award. The University of Pittsburgh is very fortunate to count him among its faculty.”

Anthony C. Infanti’s appointment as the Christopher C. Walthour, Sr. Professor of Law recognizes his eminence in the field of tax law and critical legal theory. Infanti’s influential scholarship has spanned the fields of federal income tax, corporate and international tax, and critical legal studies, with an emphasis on the intersection of tax law with sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity.

Infanti is also a consummate leader in many roles in legal education, serving as a member of and in multiple leadership roles with the American Bar Association’s Section on Taxation and the American Civil Liberties Union. His use of innovative and effective pedagogical methods has been recognized by the Law School’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and his appointment as a Fellow of the national Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium.

“I am both honored and humbled to have been appointed the inaugural holder of the Christopher C. Walthour, Sr. Professorship in Law,” said Infanti. “I would like to convey my deep gratitude to Dean Carter, Pitt Law, and the University of Pittsburgh for their enduring support of my work. I am also deeply grateful for the generous bequest from the estate of Christopher C. Walthour, Jr.—a dedicated Pitt (BS in Mathematics, Class of 1939) and Pitt Law (Class of 1942) alum, decorated World War II veteran, and respected attorney—that made this honor possible.” 

Infanti’s forthcoming book, Our Selfish Tax Laws: Toward Tax Reform That Mirrors Our Better Selves (MIT Press 2018) takes a broad view of American tax law, considering not just how taxes affect us individually but how the tax system reflects our culture and society. His most recent co-edited volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions (Cambridge University Press 2017), is a compendium of essays rewriting judicial decisions on a variety of tax issues from a feminist perspective. Infanti is an affiliated faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program.

“Professor Anthony Infanti is a ground-breaking scholar who demonstrates the power of perspective in understanding and shaping an area of law,” said Dean Carter. “Under Infanti’s incisive and critical gaze, tax law comes to life as a field rich with significance for shaping peoples’ lives and structuring social relations. Infanti’s unique scholarly contributions, teaching innovations and leadership in the profession make him a true asset to the Law School.”