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Mitchell N. Berman

  • Richard Dale Endowed Chair in Law, Professor of Philosophy; Co-Director, Law & Philosophy Program


  • JD University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • MA University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • AB Harvard

Professor Berman teaches and writes in diverse areas of legal theory, specializing in criminal law, constitutional law, and a new domain of scholarly inquiry he has dubbed “the jurisprudence of sport.” The author or co-author of dozens of articles and book chapters, he is perhaps best known for his analysis of the logical structure of constitutional adjudication (“Constitutional Decision Rules,” Virginia Law Review 2004); his explication and critique of originalism (“Originalism is Bunk,” NYU Law Review 2009); his proposed solutions to the kindred paradoxes of blackmail (“The Evidentiary Theory of Blackmail,” University of Chicago Law Review 1998) and of “unconstitutional conditions” (“Coercion Without Baselines,” Georgetown Law Journal 2001); his sympathetic reconstruction of retributivist justifications for punishment (“Punishment and Justification,” Ethics 2008); and his quixotic campaign against the “indisputable visual evidence” standard governing the use of instant replay in American football (“Replay,” California Law Review 2011).

Before joining the Texas faculty in 1998, Berman clerked for the Hon. J. Dickson Phillips, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and practiced law with Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. He has been Visiting Professor at the law schools of the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. He holds a courtesy appointment in the UT Philosophy Department, and serves as Co-Director of the Law School's Law and Philosophy Program.

Berman teaches first-year courses in criminal law and constitutional law, along with upper-level seminars on a variety of jurisprudential topics. He is the 2008 recipient of the Texas Exes Teaching Excellence Award.

Recent Publications

  • On What Distinguishes New Originalism From Old: A Jurisprudential Take, 82 Fordham Law Review 545 (2013) (with Kevin Toh).
  • Pluralistic Nonoriginalism and the Combinability Problem, 91 Texas Law Review 1739 (2013) (with Kevin Toh).
  • Coercion, Compulsion, and the Medicaid Expansion: A Study in the Doctrine of Unconstitutional Conditions, 91 Texas Law Review 1283 (2013).

Full list of publications…

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Photo credit: Christina Murrey, Tino Mauricio

Contact Information

Mitchell N. Berman

Work (512) 232-3525

Office: JON 5.242
The University of Texas at Austin
727 E Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705

Faculty Assistant

Pathrience C. Abroms
(512) 232-2292

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