Jeremy Kessler

Associate Professor of Law

Jeremy Kessler

Associate Professor of Law

Jeremy K. Kessler, Associate Professor of Law, is a legal historian whose scholarship focuses on First Amendment law, administrative law, and constitutional law generally. He joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 2015 and is co-director of Columbia University's 20th Century Politics and Society Workshop and Columbia Law School's Legal History Workshop. He also serves on the board of the American Society for Legal History and the ABA’s Committee on the History of Administrative Law.

Kessler’s forthcoming book, Fortress of Liberty: The Rise and Fall of the Draft and the Remaking of American Law, Harvard, explores how the contested development of the military draft transformed the relationship between civil liberties law and the American administrative state. His articles on First Amendment law, administrative law, constitutional theory, and American legal history have appeared or are forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, and the Texas Law Review, among other publications. Kessler also writes about law and history for non-academic publications, including The New Republic, n+1, The Boston Review, and Jacobin.

Prior to joining Columbia Law School, Kessler clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He previously served as the David Berg Foundation Fellow at the Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization at NYU School of Law; as a graduate fellow at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; and as the Harry Middleton Fellow in Presidential Studies at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.

Kessler received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was a Legal History Fellow and the executive editor of the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. He earned a M.Phil. in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. from Yale College, summa cum laude.

  • Ph.D., Yale University, expected 2016
  • J.D., Yale Law School
  • M.Phil., University of Cambridge
  • B.A., Yale College
Areas of Expertise
  • First Amendment law
  • Administrative law
  • Legal history
  • Constitutional law
  • National security law
  • “The Early Years of First Amendment Lochnerism,” 116 Columbia Law Review, 2016
  • “Working Themselves Impure: A Life-Cycle Theory of Legal Theories,” (with David Pozen), 83 University of Chicago Law Review, 2016
  • “The Political Economy of ‘Constitutional Political Economy,’” 94 Texas Law Review 1527, 2016
  • “The Struggle for Administrative Legitimacy,” 129 Harvard Law Review 718, 2016
  • “A War for Liberty: 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 Liberties Law,” 114 Columbia Law Review 1083, 2014
  • “The Invention of a Human Right: Conscientious Objection at the United Nations, 1947-2011,” 44 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 753, 2013
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Administrative Law
S. The Legal History of National Security

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