Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
government masthead
Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Gary J. Jacobsohn

Professor Ph.D., Cornell University

Professor, Malcolm Macdonald Professor in Constitutional and Comparative Law
Gary J. Jacobsohn

Contact

Biography

Professor Jacobsohn's interests and work lie at the intersection of constitutional theory and comparative constitutionalism. He has recently completed a book on constitutional identity, which explores this idea through an examination of its expressions in India, Ireland, Israel, and the United States. He has held fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Fulbright Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a past President of the New England Political Science Association, and has served as co-editor of the Rowman and Littlefield series on Studies in American Constitutionalism.

Among Professor Jacobsohn\'s publications are: Pragmatism, Statesmanship and the Supreme Court (Cornell University Press, 1977), The Supreme Court and the Decline of Constitutional Aspiration (Rowman and Littlefield, 1986), Apple of Gold: Constitutionalism in Israel and the United States (Princeton University Press, 1993), The Wheel of Law: India\'s Secularism in Comparative Constitutional Context (Princeton University Press and Oxford University Press-India, 2003), and (with Donald Kommers and John Finn) American Constitutional Law: Essays, Cases, and Comparative Notes (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009). His book, The Disharmonic Constitution: A Comparative Inquiry Into Constitutional Identity, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2010.

Interests

Constitutional Theory, Comparative Constitutionalism

GOV 357M • Structure Of Indiv Liberties

38015 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ B0.306
show description

a) No Prerequisites  

b) The focus of this course is on the ways in which the Constitution protects individual rights as it accommodates the often competing claims of groups, communities, and the state. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues.  We examine rights under the Constitution as they have evolved and been defined through judicial interpretation during periods of crisis and normalcy.  Some of the topics to be considered include: equal protection under law, substantive and procedural due process, freedoms of speech and religion, and privacy. Under these rubrics are to be found such issues as affirmative action, capital punishment, hate speech, property rights, abortion, and gender discrimination. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.  

c) Two papers, each 30% of the final grade; a final exam worth 40% of the grade.  

d) Two texts, one a Con Law casebook, the second a collection of constitutional stories

GOV 357M • Constitutnl Struct Of Power

38890 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ B0.306
show description

Gov 357M - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: STRUCTURES OF POWER 

 

The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama and the Tea Party of today. Some of the topics to be considered include: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to provide national health care, the power to regulate firearms, the power to establish an office of independent counsel, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading consists of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development. 

 

Requirements: two short papers and a final exam

Grading: 30% for each paper, 40% for the final

 

Texts: Kommers, Finn, and Jacobsohn, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (Vol. 1), 3rd. ed.

R. McCloskey, THE AMERICAN SUPREME COURT (5th ed.)

GOV 357M • Structure Of Indiv Liberties

39250 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ B0.306
show description

The focus of this course is on the ways in which the Constitution protects individual rights as it accommodates the often competing claims of groups, communities, and the state. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues.  We examine rights under the Constitution as they have evolved and been defined through judicial interpretation during periods of crisis and normalcy.  Some of the topics to be considered include: equal protection under law, substantive and procedural due process, freedoms of speech and religion, and privacy. Under these rubrics are to be found such issues as affirmative action, capital punishment, hate speech, property rights, abortion, same sex marriage, the right to bear arms, and gender discrimination. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development and the debates and controversies of American political thought.

 

Requirements: two shorts papers (30% of grade each) and a final exam (40% of grade).

No prerequisites.

Texts: Donald P. Kommers, John E. Finn, and Gary J. Jacobsohn. eds., AMERICA CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: LIBERTY, COMMUNITY, AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS (Vol. 2, 3rd ed.); and one other book TBA.

GOV 384N • Comparative Constitutionalism

39463 • Spring 2014
Meets T 330pm-630pm BAT 1.104
show description

The proliferation of new constitutions and the heightened activity surrounding recent fundamental re-structuring of polities have led to a renewed interest in the old subject of comparative constitutionalism.  This course will explore alternative traditions of constitutionalism, connecting them to the broader political cultures from which they have emerged.  It will examine the various shades of meaning underlying political values and moral theories that inform concepts -- for example, liberty, autonomy, equality, and community -- within various constitutional traditions.  It will seek to account for the similarities and differences within the constitutional ideas and arrangements in contrasting systems.  It will explore the role of constitutional courts in polities with varying conceptions of judicial review.  It will consider alternative approaches to the study of constitutional maintenance and change.  It will attempt to clarify the elusive concepts of constitutional identity and constitutional revolution.  And it will look closely at the ways in which foreign experience might illuminate and possibly enrich American constitutional understandings. 

 

Requirements: One short reflective paper (20% of grade) and one research paper (60% of grade)  Class participation (20% of grade).

No prerequisites.

Texts: TBA

GOV 357M • Constitutnl Struct Of Power

39225 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 203
show description

Course Description

The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues.  We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama and the Tea Party. Of major consideration: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to regulate firearms, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, the power to establish a national health care policy, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.  

 

Grading Policy

Course grades are based on two short papers, a final exam, and class participation.

 

Texts  

Kommers, Finn, and Jacobsohn, American Constitutional Law; Robert McCloskey, The American Supreme Court, Packet of articles and cases

GOV 384N • American Legal Philosophy

39090 • Spring 2013
Meets T 330pm-630pm BAT 1.104
show description

Prerequisites

None (Some Con Law familiarity desirable)

 

Course Description

We will consider, within the American political context, what law has come to mean, and  the implications of this understanding (as well as alternative conceptions) for public policy, constitutional interpretation, and citizenship.  Much of the canon of American jurisprudence includes important works falling beyond the specific concerns of this course.  Thus we will have little to discuss regarding issues located in the various domains of private law.  The selection of readings and topics reflect the fact this is a course in a graduate program in Public Law.  The jurisprudential and philosophical issues that will preoccupy us are deeply implicated in the scholarship being done in the fields of judicial behavior, constitutional development, and comparative/ international law.  Our goal is to discover exactly why they lie at the core of the discipline of Public Law. 

 

Grading policy

There are two written assignments, the first is a short reflective piece (5 pages) and the second is a research paper (20-25 pages) to be submitted at the end of the semester.  A course grade will reflect performance on these papers (#1 – 20%, #2 – 60%) and on class participation (20%). 

 

Texts

Among the texts will be works by Cardozo, Holmes, Dworkin, Lincoln, Posner, Hart, and Fuller.

GOV 357M • Structure Of Indiv Liberties

38755 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ B0.306
show description

The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Some of the topics to be considered include: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to regulate firearms, the power to require individuals to acquire health insurance, the power to establish an office of independent counsel, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading consists of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.  

 

 Requirements: two short papers and a final exam

 

Grading: 30% for each paper, 40% for the final

 

Texts: Kommers, Finn, and Jacobsohn, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW Vol. 1, (3rd ed.), another book TBA

GOV 357M • Constitutnl Struct Of Power

38760 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 1
show description

The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Some of the topics to be considered include: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to regulate firearms, the power to require individuals to acquire health insurance, the power to establish an office of independent counsel, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading consists of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.  

 

 Requirements: two short papers and a final exam

 

Grading: 30% for each paper, 40% for the final

 

Texts: Kommers, Finn, and Jacobsohn, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW Vol. 1, (3rd ed.), another book TBA

GOV 384N • Comparative Constitutionalism

38925 • Fall 2011
Meets W 330pm-630pm BAT 1.104
show description

According to the legal theorist, Roscoe Pound, "Experience, which is no longer merely local, must be subjected to the scrutiny of reason and developed by reason, and reason, which in its very nature transcends locality, must be tested by experience.  The wider the experience, the better is the test.  Thus the science of law must increasingly be comparative.  Whether we are dreaming of a world law or thinking of the further development of our own law...the methods of the jurist must have a basis in comparison."  Written in 1957, Pound's point is much older than forty years; indeed the framers of the American Constitution proceeded in accordance with its insight, as their architectural design for constitution-making relied on comparative examples to supplement their Enlightenment faith in reason.  Yet the comparative method has over the years become increasingly marginalized as a tool of constitutional analysis.  This is especially the case in the United States, where the longevity and success of the Constitution have surely contributed to a discernible insularity (and perhaps arrogance) in scholarly and juristic awareness of alternative constitutional possibilities.  Yet, with the extraordinary regime changes that have occurred throughout the world over the last several decades, this appears to be changing.  The heightened activity surrounding recent fundamental re-structurings of polities has led to a renewed interest in the old subject of comparative constitutionalism.  Indeed, it is routine now regularly to encounter news items on constitutional design, amendment, and interpretation.  This course will explore alternative traditions of constitutionalism, connecting them to the broader political cultures from which they have emerged.  It will examine the various shades of meaning underlying political values and moral theories that inform concepts -- for example, liberty, autonomy, equality, and community -- within various constitutional traditions.  It will seek to account for the similarities and differences within the constitutional ideas and arrangements in contrasting systems.  It will explore the role of constitutional courts in polities with varying conceptions of judicial review and its significance.  It will consider alternative approaches to the study of constitutional maintenance and change.  It will attempt to clarify the elusive concept of constitutional identity.  And it will look closely at the ways in which foreign experience might illuminate and possibly enrich American constitutional understandings.  As that other famous comparative legal scholar, Tom Waits, has said (actually sung), “I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long.”   

GOV 357M • Structure Of Indiv Liberties

38970 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ B0.306
show description

The focus of this course is on the ways in which the Constitution protects individual rights as it accommodates the often competing claims of groups, communities, and the state. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues.  We examine rights under the Constitution as they have evolved and been defined through judicial interpretation during periods of crisis and normalcy.  Some of the topics to be considered include: equal protection under law, substantive and procedural due process, freedoms of speech and religion, and privacy. Under these rubrics are to be found such issues as affirmative action, capital punishment, hate speech, property rights, abortion, and gender discrimination. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.

GOV 357M • Constitutnl Struct Of Power

38580 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
show description

Course Description: The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Some of the topics to be considered include: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to regulate firearms, the power to require individuals to acquire health insurance, the power to establish an office of independent counsel, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading consists of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.  
 
Grading Policy: 30% for each paper (2 papaers), 40% for the final


Textbooks: Kommers, Finn, and Jacobsohn, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW Vol. 1, (3rd ed.), another book TBA

GOV 384N • American Legal Philosophy

38805 • Fall 2010
Meets W 330pm-630pm BAT 1.104
show description

Description: This course will consider, within the American political context, what law has come to mean and  the implications of this definition (as well as alternative conceptions) for public policy, constitutional interpretation, and citizenship.  We will study the main schools of jurisprudential thought in the United States, including positivism, natural law, sociological jurisprudence, and critical legal studies.  Students will study the works of, among others, Holmes, Cardozo, Hart, Fuller, Dworkin, Posner, and Lincoln.

Grading Policy/Requirements: two papers, one short reflective piece, one research paper.

Books, Articles, & Reviews

Books

gary jacobsohn       gary jacobsohn      Gary Jacobsohn 

  • THE WHEEL OF LAW: INDIA’S SECULARISM IN COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT (Princeton University Press, 2003, Oxford University Press – India, 2003)
  • APPLE OF GOLD: CONSTITUTIONALISM IN ISRAEL AND THE UNITED STATES (Princeton University Press, 1993)
  • THE SUPREME COURT AND THE DECLINE OF CONSTITUTIONAL ASPIRATION (Rowman & Littlefield, 1986)
  • PRAGMATISM, STATESMANSHIP, AND THE SUPREME COURT (Cornell University Press, 1977)
  • AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: ESSAYS, CASES, AND COMPARATIVE NOTES (2nd ed.), with
    Donald P. Kommers and John E. Finn (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004)
  • DIVERSITY AND CITIZENSHIP: REDISCOVERING AMERICAN NATIONHOOD, Co-edited with Susan Dunn (Rowman & Littlefield, 1996)

Articles and Essays

  • “The Sounds of Silence: Militant and Acquiescent Constitutionalism,” in H. Richard Zinman, ed.,The Supreme Court and the Idea of Constititionalism (University of Pennsylvania Press,   (forthcoming).
  •  “Constitutional Borrowing in South Asia: India, Sri Lanka, and Constitutional Identity,” (with Shylashri Shankar) in Sunil Khilnani and Vikram Raghavan, eds., Comparative Tradition in South Asia (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  • "Aspirationalism," in David Tanenhaus, ed., Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (Macmillan, forthcoming).
  • Bommai and the Judicial Power: A View From the United States,” Indian Journal of Constitutional Law, V. 2, 2008.
  • “After the Revolution,” Israel Law Review, V. 34, 2000.
  • “‘By the Light of Reason’: Corruption, Religious Speech, and Constitutional Essentials,” in Nancy L. Rosenblum, ed., Religion and Law: Obligations of Citizenship and Demands of Faith (Princeton University Press, 2000).
  • "Dramatic Jurisprudence," in William N. Eskridge, Jr. and Sanford Levinson, eds., Constitutional Stupidities, Constitutional Tragedies (NYU Press, 1998).
  • "Hindu Nationalism and the Israeli Experience," Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, V. 1, 1998.
  • "Comparative Constitutional Analysis and the Secular Polity," The Good Society: A PEGS Journal, V. 7, 1997.
  • "Three Models of Secular Constitutional Development: India, Israel, and the United States," Studies in American Political Development, V. 10, 1996.
  • "Contemporary Constitutional Theory, Federalism, and the Protection of Rights," in Ellis Katz and G. Alan Tarr, eds., Federalism and Rights (Rowman & Littlefield, 1996).
  • "States' Rights," in Leonard W. Levy and Louis Fisher, eds., Encyclopedia of the American Presidency (Simon & Schuster, 1993).
  • "Censorship in Israel," in Ilan Peleg, ed., Censorship (Westview Press, 1993).
  • "Political Incorporation and Democratic Theory," in George E. Marcus and Russell Hanson, eds., Reconsidering the Democratic Electorate (Penn State University Press, 1993).
  • "Pragmatism," in Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, and John G. West, Jr., eds., Encyclopedia of the American Constitution - Supplementary Edition (Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc., 1991).
  • "Judicial Activism in Israel," in Kenneth Holland, ed., Judicial Activism In Comparative Perspective (Macmillan Publishing Co. and St. Martin's Press, 1991).
  • "Alternative Pluralisms: Israeli and American Constitutionalism In Comparative Perspective," Review of Politics, V. 51, 1989.
  • "Judicial Activism and the Founders," in J. Jackson Barlow, Dennis J. Mahoney, and John G. West, Jr., eds., The New Federalist Papers (University Press of America, 1988).
  • "Rules are Not Enough: An Argument For Principled Unpredictability," in Sarah Baumgartner Thurow, ed., Constitutionalism in Perspective: The United States Constitution in Twentieth Century Politics (University Press of America, 1988).
  • "Natural Rights and the Constitution: American Experience and the Israeli Dilemma," Vera Lex, V.7, No. 2, 1987.
  • "Modern Jurisprudence and The Transvaluation of Liberal Constitutionalism," Journal of Politics, V. 47, 1985.
  • "E.T.:  The Extra-Textual in Constitutional Interpretation," Constitutional Commentary," V. 1, 1983.
  • "Legal Science Revisited and Reinterpreted:  Roscoe Pound's The Spirit of the Common Law," in Sidney A.Pearson, Jr., ed., The Constitutional  Polity:  Essays on the Founding Principles of American Politics  (University Press of America, 1983).
  • "Abraham Lincoln 'On This Question of Judicial Authority':  The Theory of Constitutional Aspiration,"  Western Political Quarterly, V. 36, No. 1, 1983.
  • "Hamilton, Positivism, and the Constitution: Judicial Discretion Reconsidered," Polity, V. 14, 1981.
  • "The Unanimous Verdict:  Politics and the Jury Trial," Washington University Law Review, V. 1976, 1977.
  • "The Right To Disagree: Judges, Juries, and the Administration of Justice in Maryland," Washington University Law Review, V. 1976, 1977.
  • "Citizen Participation in Policy-Making: The Role of the Jury," Journal of Politics, V.  39,1977.
  • "The Pragmatic Dogma' of the Political Thicket:  The Jurisprudential Paradox of 'One Man, One Vote'", Polity, V. 9, 1977.
  • "Constitutional Adjudication and Judicial Statesmanship:  Principle, Fact, and Doctrine,"Journal of Public Law,  V. 23, 1974.
  • "Felix Frankfurter and the Ambiguities of Judicial Statesmanship," New York University
    Law Review , V. 49, 1974.

Recently Published Articles

Book Reviews

  • Martha C. Nussbaum, THE CLASH WITHIN: DEMOCRACY, RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE, AND INDIA’S FUTURE, in Journal of Law and Religion, V. 23, 2008.
  • S. K. Verma and Kusum Kumar, FIFTY YEARS OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA: ITS GRASP AND
    REACH, in The Law and Politics Book Review, V. 14, No. 6, 2004.
  • Reuven Y. Hazan, REFORMING PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES: ISRAEL IN COMPARATIVE
    PERSPECTIVE, in American Political Science Review, V. 96, 2002.
  • Gregg Ivers, TO BUILD A WALL: AMERICAN JEWS AND THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, in Studies in Contemporary Jewry, V. 13, 1998.
  • Wayne D. Moore, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND POWERS OF THE PEOPLE, in The Law and Politics Book Review, V. 7, No. 2, 1997.
  • Lane V. Sunderland, POPULAR GOVERNMENT AND THE SUPREME COURT: SECURING THE PUBLIC GOOD AND PRIVATE RIGHTS, in American Political Science Review, V. 90, No. 4, 1996.
  • James P. Pinkerton, WHAT COMES NEXT: THE END OF BIG GOVERNMENT - AND THE NEW PARADIGM AHEAD
  • Victor Kamber, GIVING UP ON DEMOCRACY: WHY TERM LIMITS ARE BAD FOR AMERICA, in The Washington Post Book World, November 26, 1995.
  • Edward J. Cleary, BEYOND THE BURNING CROSS: THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND THE LANDMARK R.A.V. CASE, in The Washington Post Book World, November 21, 1994.
  • Bernard Schwartz, MAIN CURRENTS IN AMERICAN LEGAL THOUGHT (feature review), in Perspectives on Political Science, V. 23, No. 3, 1994.
  • Douglas Greenberg, Stanley N. Katz, Melanie Beth Oliviero, and Steven C. Wheatley, eds., CONSTITUTIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY: TRANSITIONS IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD, in The Law and Politics Book Review, V. 4, No. 2, 1994.
  • Richard B. Bernstein, AMENDING AMERICA: IF WE LOVE THE CONSTITUTION SO MUCH, WHY DO WE KEEP TRYING TO CHANGE IT?
  • Bernard Bailyn, ed., THE DEBATE ON THE CONSTITUTION: FEDERALIST AND ANTIFEDERALIST SPEECHES, ARTICLES AND LETTERS DURING THE STRUGGLE OVER RATIFICATION, in The Washington Post Book World, September 5, 1993.
  • Christopher P. Manfredi, JUDICIAL POWER AND THE CHARTER: CANADA AND THE PARADOX OF LIBERAL CONSTITUTIONALISM, in American Political Science Review, V. 87, No. 4, 1993.
  • Yochanan Peres and Ephraim Yuchtman-Yaar, TRENDS IN ISRAELI DEMOCRACY: THE PUBLIC'S VIEW, in International Journal of Middle East Studies, V. 25, No. 2, 1993.
  • Hadley Arkes, BEYOND THE CONSTITUTION, in American Political Science Review, V. 85, No. 4, 1991.
  • Lucy S. Dawidowicz, FROM THAT PLACE AND TIME: A MEMOIR 1938-1937, in Perspective, V. 19, No. 2, 1990
  • Richard Beeman, Stephen Botein, and Edward C. Carter II, eds., BEYOND CONFEDERATION: ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN NATIONAL CHARACTER (feature review), in Perspective, V. 16, No. 4, 1987.
  • Eva R. Rubin, THE SUPREME COURT AND THE AMERICAN FAMILY, in The Annals of the    American Academy of Political and Social Science, V. 493, 1987.
  • Michael Kent Curtis, NO STATE SHALL ABRIDGE: THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS, in American Political  Science Review, V. 81, No. 1, 1987.
  • Wallace Mendelson, SUPREME COURT STATECRAFT: THE RULE OF LAW AND MEN, in Perspective, V.15, No. 5, 1986.
  • Amos Oz, IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL, in Kesher/Connection, V. 2, No. 1, 1985.
  • Michael J. Perry, THE CONSTITUTION, THE COURTS, AND HUMAN RIGHTS: AN INQUIRY INTO THE LEGITIMACY OF CONSTITUTIONAL POLICYMAKING BY THE JUDICIARY, in Perspective, V.12, No. 4, 1983.
  • Bruce A. Murphy, THE BRANDEIS/FRANKFURTER CONNECTION, in Perspective, (feature review) V.11, No.6, 1982.
  • Bruce M. Owen, ECONOMICS AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION:  MEDIA STRUCTURE AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT, in Policy Analysis, V.3, No.3, 1977.

Other

  • Editor, Berkshire Review (1980)
  • Co-Editor, Rowman and Littlefield Series on the American Constitution

Research

Overview

Professor Jacobsohn’s current research focuses on the question of constitutional change in comparative perspective. In line with this interest, he is exploring the concept of constitutional identity, about which constitutional theorists have had relatively little to say. Professor Jacobsohn is addressing this inattention with a philosophical and comparative exploration of the idea. There are, according to the argument being developed, attributes of a constitution that allow one to identify it as such, and there is a dialogical process of identity formation that enables one to determine the specific identity of any given constitution.

Representing a mix of aspirations and commitments expressive of a nation’s past, constitutional identity also evolves in ongoing political and interpretive activities occurring in courts, legislatures, and other public and private domains. Professor Jacobsohn’s exploration of identity’s conceptual possibilities are centered in several constitutional settings - India, Ireland, Israel, and the United States – that highlight its distinctive features.

Courses

Williams College

  • Introduction to American Politics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Constitutional Law
  • American Legal Philosophy
  • American Political Thought
  • Criminal Justice
  • American Public Policy-Making
  • Constitutional Crisis
  • Judicial Policy-making
  • American Political Development
  • The Politics of Rights
  • Civil Liberties in the United States
  • The First Amendment
  • Comparative Constitutionalism

Winter Study Courses

  • Capital Punishment
  • Privacy
  • The Trial Process
  • The Jurisprudence of the Founding Fathers
  • Lincoln and the Law
  • Freedom, Authority, and Community
  • Constitutionalism Without a Constitution: The Case of Israel
  • Lessons From Abroad: Constitutionalism in Faraway Places
  • Judicial Biography

University of Texas at Austin

  • American Legal Philosophy (graduate)
  • Comparative Constitutionalism (graduate)
  • Constitutional Structures of Power
  • The Constitution and Individual Liberties
  • Constitutional Change in Comparative Perspective (graduate)
bottom border