Prof. Marci A. Hamilton

Paul R. Verkuil Chair of Public Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Marci Hamilton is is one of the United States’ leading church/state scholars, as well as an expert on federalism and representation. During the academic year 2007-08, she was a Visiting Professor and the Kathleen and Martin Crane Fellow in the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

Professor Hamilton holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, and is the author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005) (paperback, September 2007), and Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge 2008). On Wednesdays, she posts to a blog on the Cambridge site. She is also a columnist on constitutional issues for, where her column appears every other Thursday.

Professor Hamilton is frequently asked to advise Congress and state legislatures on the constitutionality of pending legislation and to consult in cases involving important constitutional issues.  She is the First Amendment advisor for victims in many clergy abuse cases involving many religious institutions, including the federal bankruptcies filed by the Portland Archdiocese, Spokane Diocese, and San Diego Diocese.  She also advises cities and neighborhoods dealing with the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.  She was lead counsel for the City of Boerne, Texas, in Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), before the Supreme Court in its seminal federalism and church/state case holding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional.

Professor Hamilton clerked for Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She also received her M.A. in Philosophy and M.A., high honors, in English from Pennsylvania State University, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University.  Her full curiculum vitae can be found here.

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