Jamal Greene

Jamal Greene

  • Dwight Professor of Law

J.D., Yale Law School, 2005
A.B., Harvard College, 1999

Areas of Specialty

Constitutional Law
Constitutional Theory
Comparative Constitutional Law
First Amendment
Federal Courts

Jamal Greene is a constitutional law expert whose scholarship focuses on the structure of legal and constitutional argument. He teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, the law of the political process, First Amendment, and federal courts. 

Greene is the author of the book How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights is Tearing America Apart (HMH, March 2021). He is also the author of numerous law review articles and has written in-depth about the Supreme Court, constitutional rights adjudication, and the constitutional theory of originalism, including “Rights as Trumps?” (Harvard Law Review foreword for the 2017–2018 Supreme Court term), “Rule Originalism” (Columbia Law Review, 2016), and “The Anticanon” (Harvard Law Review, 2011), an examination of Supreme Court cases now considered examples of weak constitutional analysis, such as Dred Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson.

During the 2018–2019 academic year, Greene served as senior visiting scholar at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, where he commissioned and oversaw new scholarly research relating to free speech and new communications platforms. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and has served as Columbia Law’s Vice Dean for Intellectual Life. 

Greene is a sought-after media commentator on the Supreme Court and on constitutional law. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, New York Daily News, and The Los Angeles Times. In 2019, he served as an aide to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Ca.) during the Senate confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Before training as a lawyer, he was a baseball reporter for Sports Illustrated.

Prior to joining Columbia Law in 2008, Greene was the Alexander Fellow at New York University School of Law. He served as a law clerk to Judge Guido Calabresi on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Law Institute and sits on the Board of Academic Advisors of the American Constitution Society.

Greene is currently on leave serving in the federal government.


  • “The Age of Scalia,” 130 Harvard Law Review, 2016
  • “Rule Originalism,” 117 Columbia Law Review, 2016
  • “The Meming of Substantive Due Process,” 31 Constitutional Commentary 241, 2016
  • “The Supreme Court as a Constitutional Court,” 128 Harvard Law Review 124, 2014
  • “Pathetic Argument in Constitutional Law,” 113 Columbia Law Review 1389, 2013
  • “Thirteenth Amendment Optimism,” 112 Columbia Law Review 1733, 2012
  • “The Anticanon,” 125 Harvard Law Review 379, 2011
  • “Profiling Originalism,” (with Nathaniel Persily and Stephen Ansolabehere), 111 Columbia Law Review 356, 2011
  • “On the Origins of Originalism,” 88 Texas Law Review 1, 2009
  • “Selling Originalism,” 97 Georgetown Law Journal, 2009

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