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Constitutional Law & Theory

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Georgetown Law has a rich tradition of leading scholarship on the United States Constitution and delivers an unrivaled experience for students and scholars in the area of constitutional law and theory. Located just blocks from the U.S. Supreme Court, Georgetown Law is literally at the center of the country’s most engaging and often contentious constitutional debates. 

The Constitutional Law faculty at Georgetown Law exemplifies the school’s commitment to both theory and practice. Much faculty scholarship in the area addresses on fundamental questions of constitutional theory, such as debates over originalism, the place of positive rights in the constitutional order, comparative constitutionalism, and whether we owe allegiance to the Constitution at all. Other Georgetown Law scholarship addresses more concrete questions, such as the scope of the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty, constitutional questions raised by post 9/11 surveillance, and the scope of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. All of this scholarship is informed by a deep connection to practice. Many faculty members have litigated constitutional cases, and a number have argued before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law serves as a principal stop for many counsel preparing oral arguments for the Supreme Court. The Institute now conducts moot courts for nearly every case argued before the Supreme Court, helping to prepare both attorneys arguing before the Supreme Court for the first time as well as some of the nation's most experienced Supreme Court advocates. Acting Justices are drawn from the Georgetown Law faculty and attorneys who practice before the Supreme Court. Georgetown Law students are generally invited to attend these moots, where advocates not only practice their arguments but also receive feedback and discuss strategy.

The Georgetown Center for the Constitution focuses scholarly attention on issues of constitutional law and theory, and is a leading forum for inclusive discussion on methods of constitutional interpretation. The Center regularly sponsors events featuring Supreme Court Justices and renowned legal scholars to advance the conversation over the theory and practice of interpreting and applying the Constitution. The Center runs a Student Fellows Program that bring students together with leading scholars, judges, and practitioners at campus events, as well as a one-week summer seminar in which students learn directly from constitutional litigators, and some years meet with Supreme Court Justices.

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Faculty:

Susan Bloch Profile
Susan Bloch
Joshua Geltzer Profile
Joshua Geltzer
Lawrence Gostin Profile
Lawrence Gostin
Nan Hunter Profile
Nan Hunter
Gary Peller Profile
Gary Peller
Girardeau Spann Profile
Girardeau Spann
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Curriculum

Constitutional Interpretation: Originalism in Theory and Practice

Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties

Constitutional Rights and Their Limitations: Proportionality

Lawmaking: Introduction to Statutory and Regulatory Interpretation

Separation of Powers
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Scholarship

  • Lawrence B. Solum, Originalist Methodology, 84 U. Chi. L. Rev. 269-295 (2017).    [HEIN] [W] [WWW]
  • Rebecca Tushnet, Registering Disagreement: Registration in Modern American Trademark Law, 130 Harv. L. Rev. 867-941 (2017).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [WWW]
  • Paul F. Rothstein & Susan W. Crump, Federal Testimonial Privileges: Evidentiary Privileges Relating to Witnesses and Documents in Federal Law Cases (St. Paul, Minn.: Thomson/West 2d ed. 2003-2017) (publishing annual editions).    [BOOK]
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Faculty in the News

"Trump's National Security Strategy is Decidedly Non-Trumpian," by The Atlantic, December 10, 2017, quoting visiting Professor Joshua Geltzer, executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.

"Why The Supreme Court Is Likely To Rule For Jack Phillips While Dodging The Big Religious Liberty Question," coverage in The Federalist, December 8, 2017, featuring Professor Randy Barnett.

"Longtime poverty crusader makes impassioned call for justice," coverage in Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, December 6, 2017, featuring Professor Peter Edelman.

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On The Web

Maps & Directions

Google Location Map Georgetown University Law Center 600 New Jersey Avenue NW Washington, DC 20001