Daniel J. Canon

Visiting Assistant Professor


Daniel J. Canon is a is a civil rights lawyer, teacher, writer, speaker, consultant and activist based primarily in Indiana and Kentucky. Dan is consistently voted one of the region's top lawyers in the area of individual/constitutional rights. He has argued before the 6th and 7th circuit courts of appeals, the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and the Kentucky Supreme Court, and he is counsel of record on several published cases from those courts.

Canon is best known as lead counsel for the Kentucky plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, counsel for the plaintiffs in the pioneering Kentucky and Indiana marriage equality cases of Bourke v. BeshearLove v. Beshear, and Love v. Pence, counsel for Miller v. Davis, the highly publicized case in which plaintiffs were refused marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky, and counsel for the protesters in Nwanguma v. Trump. He is also counsel in a number of high-profile civil and constitutional rights cases involving wrongful convictions, inmates' rights, abuse and overreach by law enforcement, and academic freedom.

Canon's writing has been featured in numerous publications, including The National Law Journal, Salon, Slate, Louisville's LEO Weekly and Indianapolis's NUVO. He has been quoted and profiled extensively in Time, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Nightline, The New York Times and many other national and international news sources. He is currently producing a series of short documentaries called Midwesticism, which profiles activists in Indiana and surrounding areas. His book about the American criminal justice system, entitled PLEADING OUT: How Backroom Deals Broke Our Justice System and What We Can Do to Fix It, is scheduled to be published by Basic/Hachette in early 2021.

In addition to his teaching duties at the University of Louisville School of Law, he also manages the School's externship program.