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Robin L. West

Frederick J. Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy

B.A., J.D., University of Maryland; J.S.M., Stanford

Areas of Expertise:

Constitutional Law, Contracts, Interdisciplinary, Jurisprudence and Philosophy

Professor West came to the Law Center from the University of Maryland Law School, where she taught from 1986-1991. She has been a visiting professor...

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Professor West came to the Law Center from the University of Maryland Law School, where she taught from 1986-1991. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and Stanford Law Schools. She also taught at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, from 1982-1985. Professor West has written extensively on gender issues and feminist legal theory, constitutional law and theory, jurisprudence, legal philosophy, and law and literature.

Recent Scholarship

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Robin L. West, In Praise of Richard Weisberg's Intransigence, 29 Law & Literature 21-39 (2017).   
  • Robin L. West, The New Legal Criticism, 117 Colum. L. Rev. Online 144-164 (2017).    [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Tributes to Professor Peter E. Quint, 76 Md. L. Rev. 544-545 (2017).    [W]
  • Robin L. West, Hobby Lobby, Birth Control, and Our Ongoing Cultural Wars: Pleasure and Desire in the Crossfires, 26 Health Matrix 67-107 (2016).    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]

Book Chapters and Collected Works

  • Robin L. West, Freedom of the Church and Our Endangered Civil Rights: Exiting the Social Contract, in The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty 399-418 (Micah Schwartzman, Chad Flanders & Zoë Robinson eds., New York: Oxford University Press 2016).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [BOOK]
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All Scholarship 2000 - Present

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Robin L. West, Constitutions and Capabilities, in Great Living Philosophers Series (forthcoming).   

Books

  • Nussbaum and Law (Robin L. West ed., Farnham, Eng.: Ashgate 2015).    [BOOK]
  • Jurisprudence Cases and Materials: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law and Its Applications (Robin L. West, Stephen E. Gottlieb, Brian H. Bix & Timothy D. Lytton eds., New Providence, N.J.: LexisNexis 3d ed. 2015).    [BOOK]
  • In Search of Common Ground on Abortion: From Culture War to Reproductive Justice (Robin L. West, Justin Murray & Meredith Esser eds., Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate 2014).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Teaching Law: Justice, Politics, and the Demands of Professionalism (New York: Cambridge University Press 2014).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Normative Jurisprudence: An Introduction (New York: Cambridge University Press 2011).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender (Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm Publishers 2007).    [BOOK]
  • Jurisprudence Cases and Materials: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law and Its Applications (Robin L. West, Stephen Gottlieb, Brian Bix & Timothy Lytton eds., Newark, N.J.: LexisNexis 2d ed. 2006).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Re-Imagining Justice: Progressive Interpretations of Formal Equality, Rights, and the Rule of Law (Aldershot, U.K./Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate/Dartmouth 2003).    [BOOK]
  • Rights (Robin L. West ed., Aldershot, U.K./Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate/Dartmouth 2001).    [BOOK]

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Robin L. West, In Praise of Richard Weisberg's Intransigence, 29 Law & Literature 21-39 (2017).   
  • Robin L. West, The New Legal Criticism, 117 Colum. L. Rev. Online 144-164 (2017).    [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Tributes to Professor Peter E. Quint, 76 Md. L. Rev. 544-545 (2017).    [W]
  • Robin L. West, Hobby Lobby, Birth Control, and Our Ongoing Cultural Wars: Pleasure and Desire in the Crossfires, 26 Health Matrix 67-107 (2016).    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Law's Emotions, 19 Rich. J.L. & Pub. Int. 339-361 (2016).    [W]
  • Robin L. West, Marital Rape, Consent, and Human Rights: Comment on “Criminalizing Sexual Violence against Women in Intimate Relationships”, 109 Am. J. Int'l L. (Unbound) 197-201 (2016).   
  • Robin L. West, The Contested Value of Normative Legal Scholarship, 66 J. Legal Educ. 6-17 (2016).    [HEIN] [W] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, A Tale of Two Rights, 94 B.U. L. Rev. 893-912 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Liberty, Equality, and State Responsibilities, 79 Brook. L. Rev. 1031-1045 (2014) (reviewing Corey Brettschneider, When the State Speaks, What Should It Say? (2012)).    [HEIN] [W]
  • Robin L. West, The Right to Contract as a Civil Right, 26 St. Thomas L. Rev. 551-569 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Liberal Responsibilities, 49 Tulsa L. Rev. 393-420 (2013) (reviewing Corey Brettschneider, When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?: How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality (2012) and James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain, Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues (2013)).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, The Incoherence of Marital Benefits, 161 U. Pa. L. Rev. (PENNumbra) 179-190 (2013).    [HEIN] [W] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, A Marriage Is a Marriage Is a Marriage: The Limits of Perry v. Brown, 125 Harv. L. Rev. (Forum) 47-53 (2012).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Toward the Study of the Legislated Constitution, 72 Ohio St. L.J. 1343-1366 (2011).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Tragic Rights: The Rights Critique in the Age of Obama, 53 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 713-746 (2011).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Rights, Harms, and Duties: A Response to Justice for Hedgehogs, 90 B.U. L. Rev. 819-837 (2010).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, A Reply to Pierre, 97 Geo. L.J. 865-875 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Comments on Roger Cotterrell's Essay, 'The Struggle for Law: Some Dilemmas of Cultural Legality', 4 Int'l J.L. in Context 401-405 (2009).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, From Choice to Reproductive Justice: De-Constitutionalizing Abortion Rights, 118 Yale L.J. 1394-1432 (2009).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Carlos A. Ball, Suzanne Goldberg, Mark Chopko, Amy Wax, Jonathan Rauch, Nancy Polikoff & Chai R. Feldblum, Symposium Transcript, Rights & Wrongs: Morality in the Gay Marriage Debate, 9 Geo. J. Gender & L. 337-377 (2008).    [HEIN]
  • Robin L. West, 10 DePaul J. Health Care L. 567-585 (2007) (reviewing Madison Powers & Ruth Faden, Social Justice: The Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Policy (2006)).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Speech, Silence, and Ethical Lives in the Law, 105 Mich. L. Rev. 1397-1401 (2007).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, A Response to Goodwin Liu, 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 157-162 (2006).    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Desperately Seeking a Moralist, 29 Harv. J.L. & Gender 1-50 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Katrina, the Constitution, and the Legal Question Doctrine, 81 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 1127-1172 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, The Constitution's Political Deficit, 1 Harv. L. & Pol'y Rev. (Online) (2006).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Unenumerated Duties, 9 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 221-261 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Constitutional Culture or Ordinary Politics: A Reply to Reva Siegel, 94 Cal. L. Rev. 1465-1486 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Law's Nobility, 17 Yale J.L. & Feminism 385-458 (2005).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, The Lawless Adjudicator, 26 Cardozo L. Rev. 2253-2261 (2005).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Response to State Action and a New Birth of Freedom, 92 Geo. L.J. 819-831 (2004).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Human Capabilities and Human Authorities: A Comment on Martha Nussbaum’s Women and Human Development, 15 St. Thomas L. Rev. 757-790 (2003).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Reconsidering Legalism, 88 Minn. L. Rev. 119-158 (2003).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Tom Paine's Constitution, 89 Va. L. Rev. 1413-1461 (2003).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Re-imagining Justice, 14 Yale J.L. & Feminism 333-344 (2002).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Tradition, Principle and Self-Sovereignty: Competing Conceptions of Liberty in the United States Constitution, 6 Rev. Const. Stud. 262-290 (2002).    [HEIN] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Groups, Equal Protection and Law, Issues in Legal Scholarship, Aug. 2002, at art. 8.    [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Human Capabilities, Human Authorities, 4 Green Bag 2d 207 (2001) (reviewing Martha C. Nussbaum, Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (2000)).    [W]
  • Robin L. West, Joseph in Lawyerland, 101 Colum. L. Rev. 1775-1781 (2001) (reviewing Lawrence Joseph, Lawyerland: What Lawyers Talk About When They Talk About Law (1997)).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Reconstructing the Rule of Law, 90 Geo. L.J. 215-221 (2001).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Rights, Capabilities, and the Good Society, 69 Fordham L. Rev. 1901-1932 (2001).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Are There Nothing But Texts in This Class? Interpreting the Interpretive Turns in Legal Thought, 76 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 1125-1165 (2000).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, Is the Rule of Law Cosmopolitan?, 19 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 259-292 (2000).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Robin L. West, The Difference in Women’s Hedonic Lives: A Phenomenological Critique of Feminist Legal Theory, 15 Wis. Women's L.J. 149-215 (2000).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]

Book Chapters and Collected Works

  • Robin L. West, Freedom of the Church and Our Endangered Civil Rights: Exiting the Social Contract, in The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty 399-418 (Micah Schwartzman, Chad Flanders & Zoë Robinson eds., New York: Oxford University Press 2016).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Toward a Jurisprudence of the Civil Rights Acts, in A Nation of Widening Opportunities: The Civil Rights Act at Fifty 70-104 (Ellen D. Katz & Samuel R. Bagenstos eds., Ann Arbor, Mich.: Michigan Publishing 2015).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, From Choice to Reproductive Justice: De-Constitutionalizing Abortion Rights, in In Search of Common Ground on Abortion: From Culture War to Reproductive Justice 19-51 (Robin West, Justin Murray & Meredith Esser eds., Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate 2014).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Gatsby and Tort, in American Guy: Masculinity in American Law and Literature 86-132 (Saul Levmore & Martha C. Nussbaum eds., New York: Oxford University Press 2014).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, The Anti-Empathic Turn, in Passions and Emotions 243-288 (James E. Fleming ed., New York: New York University Press 2013).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, The Limits of Process, in Getting to the Rule of Law: NOMOS L, 32-51 (James E. Fleming ed., New York: New York University Press 2011).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Literature, Culture, and Law at Duke University, in Teaching Law and Literature 98-113 (Austin Sarat, Cathrine O. Frank & Matthew Anderson eds., New York: Modern Language Association of America 2011).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, When and Where They Enter, in Transcending the Boundaries of Law: Generations of Feminism and Legal Theory 213-225 (Martha Albertson Fineman ed., New York: Routledge 2011).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Sex, Law, and Consent, in The Ethics of Consent: Theory and Practice 221-250 (Franklin G. Miller & Alan Wertheimer eds., New York: Oxford University Press 2010).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Ennobling Politics, in Law and Democracy in the Empire of Force 58-88 (H. Jefferson Powell & James Boyd White eds., Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press 2009).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, The Missing Jurisprudence of the Legislated Constitution, in The Constitution in 2020 79-91 (Jack M. Balkin & Reva B. Siegel eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press 2009).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Pravna Znanost I Rod [Jurisprudence and Gender], in Žene I Pravo: Feminističke Pravne Teorije 162-202 (Uredila Ivana Radačić ed., Zagreb, Croat.: Centar za Ženske Studije 2009).   
  • Robin L. West, Toward Normative Jurisprudence, in On Philosophy in American Law 55-63 (Francis J. Mootz III ed., New York: Cambridge University Press 2009).   
  • Robin L. West, Positive Rights, Entry, in 4 Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States 70-73 (David S. Tanenhaus ed., Detroit, Mich.: Gale Cengage Learning 2008).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, The Limits of Liberal Pluralism: A Comment on William Galston, in Moral Universalism and Pluralism: NOMOS XLIX, 149-166 (Henry S. Richardson & Melissa S. Williams eds., New York: New York Univesity Press 2008).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Feminist Legal Theory, Entry, in 3 Encyclopedia of Philosophy 582-585 (Donald M. Borchet ed., Detroit, Mich.: Macmillan Reference USA 2d ed. 2006).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Legal Selves, in The Messy Self 146-162 (Jennifer Rosner ed., Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm Publishers 2007).   
  • Robin L. West, Roe v. Wade, in What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Most Controversial Decision 121-147 (Jack M. Balkin ed., New York: New York University Press 2005).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Unwelcome Sex: Toward a Harm-Based Analysis, in Directions in Sexual Harassment Law 138-154 (Catharine A. MacKinnon & Reva B. Siegel eds., New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press 2004).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Škodljive posljedice sporasumnog seksa, in Suvremena filozofija seksualnosti 399-405 (Igor Primorac ed., Zagreb, Croat.: Kruzac 2003).   
  • Robin L. West, Do We Have a Right to Care?, in The Subject of Care: Feminist Perspectives on Dependency 88-114 (Ellen K. Feder & Eva Feder Kittay eds., Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield 2003).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Human Rights, the Rule of Law, and American Constitutionalism, in Protecting Human Rights: Instruments and Institutions 93-116 (Tom Campbell, Jeffrey Goldsworthy & Adrienne Stone eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Introduction to Rights, Entry, in Encyclopedia of International Legal Theory (Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate 2003).   
  • Robin L. West, Taking Freedom Seriously (Parts I-III), in Law and Democracy 143-182 (Tom D. Campbell & Adrienne Stone eds., Aldershot, U.K./Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate/Dartmouth 2003).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Constitutional Scepticism, in Rights 351-386 (Robin L. West ed., Aldershot, U.K./Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate/Dartmouth 2001).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Lifting the Veil of the Right to Be Left Alone, in The Private I: Privacy in a Public World 192-202 (Molly Peacock ed., St. Paul, Minn.: Graywolf Press 2001).   
  • Robin L. West, Sex, Harm and Impeachment, in Aftermath: The Clinton Impeachment and the Presidency in the Age of Political Spectacle 129-149 (Leonard V. Kaplan & Beverly I. Moran eds., New York: New York University Press 2001).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West & Alan M. Dershowitz, The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Revisited, in Rights 637-660 (Robin L. West ed., Aldershot, U.K./Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate/Dartmouth 2000).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Constitution As Aspiration, Entry, in 2 Encyclopedia of the American Constitution 662 (Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst & Adam Winkler eds., New York: MacMillan Reference 2d ed. 2000).    [BOOK]
  • Robin L. West, Difference and Constitutional Equality, Entry, in 2 Encyclopedia of the American Constitution 78 (Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst & Adam Winkler eds., New York: MacMillan Reference 2d ed. 2000).    [BOOK]

Selected Contributions to Other Publications

  • Robin L. West, Property and the Rule of Law, JOTWELL, Mar. 3, 2017 (reviewing Paul Gowder, Equal Law in an Unequal World, 99 Iowa L. Rev. 1021 (2014)).    [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, On Rape, Coercion and Consent, JOTWELL, Mar. 15, 2016 (reviewing Scott Allen Anderson, Conceptualizing Rape as Coerced Sex (working paper)).    [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, Schools and Citizen, Boston Rev., Jan./Feb. 2014, at 49-53 (reviewing Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools (2013)).   
  • Robin L. West, Too Much Mothering, Bos. Rev., July/Aug. 2010, at 12.    [WWW]
  • Robin L. West, El Hombre Económico y la Mujer Literaria: Una Comparación, Iuris Omnes Revista de la Corte Superior de Justicia de Arequipa, Nueva Época, July-Dec. 2009, at 209-219.   
  • Robin L. West, Imagining Justice, 15 Tikkun 76-77 (2000).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
Recent scholarship

In the News

"Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Increase Job Opportunities For Law School Grads," coverage by Above the Law, July 24, 2017, referencing Dean William Treanor and Professor Robin West. 

"Legal stars coming to UH Law School in January for free public events," coverage in UHM News, December 27, 2016, featuring Professor Robin West.

"Professor Gluck Backs Bill to Create Congressional Clerkship," coverage by Yale Law School, December 8, 2016, quoting the Congressional Clerkship Coalition's Steering Committee, which includes members Dean Bill Treanor and Professor Robin West.

The office of Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) announced on December 6, 2016 the introduction of the Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Act of 2016. The Congressional Clerkship Coalition's Steering Committee included Dean Bill Treanor and Professor Robin West.

Gay marriage a form of protest,” coverage in Journal-Advocate (CO), May 23, 2016, quoting Professor Robin West.

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All News

"Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Increase Job Opportunities For Law School Grads," coverage by Above the Law, July 24, 2017, referencing Dean William Treanor and Professor Robin West. 

"Legal stars coming to UH Law School in January for free public events," coverage in UHM News, December 27, 2016, featuring Professor Robin West.

"Professor Gluck Backs Bill to Create Congressional Clerkship," coverage by Yale Law School, December 8, 2016, quoting the Congressional Clerkship Coalition's Steering Committee, which includes members Dean Bill Treanor and Professor Robin West.

The office of Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) announced on December 6, 2016 the introduction of the Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Act of 2016. The Congressional Clerkship Coalition's Steering Committee included Dean Bill Treanor and Professor Robin West.

Gay marriage a form of protest,” coverage in Journal-Advocate (CO), May 23, 2016, quoting Professor Robin West.

Homeschooling in the City,” coverage in City Journal (New York), August 9, 2015, quoting Professor Robin L. West.

Book TV at Georgetown University Law Center: Robin West, "Teaching Law: Justice, Politics, and the Demands of Professionalism," January 20, 2014, an interview with Professor Robin West on C-SPAN 2.

Recent News

On The Web

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