Professor Nourse came to Georgetown after holding chairs at Emory University and the University of Wisconsin. She has been a visiting professor at Yale, NYU, and the University of Maryland law schools. Her most recent book, In Reckless Hands (Norton 2008), tells the real life drama of the 1942 Supreme Court case striking down state eugenics laws, a case announcing a right to marry and procreate. Professor Nourse has published widely on constitutional history, the separation of powers, legislation, and the criminal law. Her latest article on Congress, “A Decision Theory of Statutory Interpretation” will appear in Fall 2012 in the Yale Law Journal.
Professor Nourse began her career in New York, clerking for Judge Edward Weinfeld and practicing at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. She left private practice to serve as junior counsel to the Senate-Iran Contra Committee under Senators Rudman and Inouye. From there, she moved down Pennsylvania Avenue to argue appeals for the Department of Justice in the Reagan-Bush years. She concluded her career in practice as senior advisor to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and now-Vice President Biden, on a variety of legislative matters, including the Violence Against Women Act. The story of her role in that fight is told in the 2009 book by Fred Strebeigh, Equal: Women Reshape American Law (Norton). Professor Nourse is Director of the law schools’ first Center on Congressional Studies.
- B.A., Stanford University
- J.D., University of California, Berkeley
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