Kathleen Marie Sullivan (born August 20, 1955), one of America's leading scholars in constitutional law, is a professor at the Stanford Law School and currently practices appellate litigation at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, a law firm with offices in California and New York. She was considered to be a potential candidate to replace David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. If she had been nominated, she would have become the first openly gay nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court in American history.
Born in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, and raised near New York City, Sullivan graduated from Cornell University in 1976, and graduated as a Marshall Scholar from Oxford in 1978. Sullivan then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1981, where her mentor Laurence Tribe called her "the most extraordinary student I had ever had."
After law school, Sullivan worked for one year as a law clerk for Judge James L. Oakes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She also worked briefly as a constitutional litigator in Cambridge, Massachusetts.