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Anthony J. Gaughan

Professor of Law, Drake University

Anthony J. Gaughan is Professor of Law at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

He has written about American politics for The Conversation since May 2015. His columns and commentaries are available under the "Articles" tab immediately above this profile.

Gaughan's academic specialties include election law, civil procedure, evidence, national security law, and legal, constitutional, and political history.

He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2005, his Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002, his M.A. in history from Louisiana State University in 1996, and his B.A. in history from the University of Minnesota in 1993.

Gaughan is the author of the book "The Last Battle of the Civil War: United States versus Lee, 1861-1883" (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2011). He has also authored numerous journal articles on election law, national security law, and American history. His articles have been published in a wide variety of academic journals, including the Fordham Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, the Journal of Supreme Court History, the American Journal of Legal History, the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, the Arkansas Law Review, the Journal of Southern History, and Civil War History. His political commentaries and op-eds have been published in a wide variety of magazines, newspapers, and online publications, including Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Independent, USA Today, and the Des Moines Register.

Gaughan is currently completing a book on American campaign finance law. He is also at work on a book about aerial bombing during the Second World War.

He is a former United States Navy officer and an Iraq War veteran. He served as a staff officer for a U.S. military joint task force in Baghdad from August 2008 to July 2009.

Gaughan has received several teaching awards, including the Leland Forrest Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, Drake University Law School (2015-2016 and 2014-2015), and the Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000). He was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal from the U.S. Department of Defense for his service in Iraq (2008-09) as well as the Iraq Campaign Medal.

His name is pronounced GOGG-in; the first syllable rhymes with words like dog and fog.


  • 2016–present
    Professor, Drake University Law School
  • 2013–2016
    Associate Professor, Drake University Law School
  • 2011–2013
    Assistant Professor, Drake University Law School


  • 2005 
    Harvard University Law School, J.D.
  • 2002 
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D.
  • 1996 
    Louisiana State University, M.A.
  • 1993 
    University of Minnesota, B.A.