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Jeremy Kessler

  • Professor of Law
  • Full-time faculty

Ph.D., Yale University, expected in 2020
J.D., Yale Law School
M.Phil., University of Cambridge
B.A., Yale College

Fields of study
  • Constitutional law, regulation and public order
  • Legal history
areas of expertise

First amendment law
Administrative law
Legal history
Constitutional law
National Security Act

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A well-known legal historian, Jeremy Kessler writes mainly on the First Amendment law, administrative law, and constitutional law. His coming book Fortress of Freedom: Rise and Fall of Draft and the Reshaping of American Law (Harvard University Press, 2021) examines how the controversial advancement of conscription has changed the relationship between civil liberty and the American administrative state.

Kessler's previous research has examined the origins of modern First Amendment law, the legal and economic policy foundations of the administrative state, and transatlantic debates on the relationship between rights and rule in the 20th century. His articles are in the. published Harvard Law Review , Columbia Law Review , University of Chicago legal exam, University of Pennsylvania Legal Review , and Texas Law Review , among other publications.

After joining the Columbia Law School faculty in 2015, Kessler attended the interdisciplinary seminar series Foucault 13/13 (2015 to 2016) and Uprising 13/13 (2017 to 2018) at the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought. He moderated panel discussions on Foucault's seventh series of lectures at the Coll├Ęge de France as well as on counterrevolution and uprising.

Kessler is co-director of the 20th Century Politics and Society Workshop at Columbia University and the Legal History Workshop at Columbia Law School. He is also a member of the ABA Committee on the History of Administrative Law.

Early in his career, Kessler served for Judge Pierre N. Leval on the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd District. Previous positions include the David Berg Foundation Fellowship at the Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization at NYU School of Law, a Graduate Fellowship at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies at Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.

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While at Yale Law School, Kessler was a Legal History Fellow and Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities .


  • Constitutionalism in a New Look, 167 University of Pennsylvania Legal Review 1749, 2019
  • The Search for an Equal First Amendment, (with David Pozen), 118 Columbia Law Review 1953, 2018
  • The Early Years of First Amendment Lochnerism, 116 Columbia Law Review , 2016
  • Working Yourself Impure: A Life Cycle Theory of Legal Theories, (with David Pozen), 83 University of Chicago Legal Exam , 2016
  • The political economy of the 'constitutional economy' 94 Texas Law Review 1527, 2016
  • The struggle for the legitimacy of the administration, 129 Harvard Law Review 718, 2016
  • A War for Freedom: On the Law of Conscientious Objection, (Michael Geyer and Adam Tooze, eds.), 3 The Cambridge history of World War II , 2015
  • The Administrative Origins of Modern Civil Liberty, 114 Columbia Law Review 1083, 2014
  • The Invention of a Human Right: Conscientious Objection at the United Nations, 1947-2011, 44 Columbia human rights review 753, 2013

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