Jeremy Kessler

Jeremy Kessler

  • Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law

Ph.D., Yale University, expected May 2024
J.D., Yale Law School
M.Phil., University of Cambridge
B.A., Yale College

Areas of Specialty

First Amendment Law
Administrative Law
Legal History
Constitutional Law
National Security Law

A noted legal historian, Jeremy Kessler writes primarily about First Amendment law, administrative law, and legal theory. His forthcoming book, Conscription and Constitutional Change in Twentieth Century America (Harvard University Press, 2025) explores how the contested development of the military draft transformed the relationship between civil liberties law and the American administrative state. 

Kessler’s past scholarship has investigated the origins of modern First Amendment law, the legal and political economic foundations of the administrative state, and transatlantic debates about the relationship between rights and governance throughout the 20th century. His writing has appeared in the Harvard Law ReviewColumbia Law ReviewUniversity of Chicago Law ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Law ReviewDuke Law Journal, and Texas Law Review, among other publications. 

Kessler is co-director of Columbia Law School’s Legal History Workshop, and Columbia University’s new Workshop on Knowledge and the State, a project of the Center for Political Economy at Columbia World Projects.

Earlier in his career, Kessler clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. His prior positions include the David Berg Foundation Fellowship at the Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization at NYU School of Law, a graduate fellowship at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.

During his time at Yale Law School, Kessler was a Legal History Fellow and the executive editor of the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities.


  • “Law and Historical Materialism,” 74 Duke Law Journal (forthcoming 2025)
  • “The Legal Origins of Catholic Conscientious Objection,” 31 William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 361, 2022
  • "Illiberalism and Administrative Government," (Austin Sarat et al., eds.), Law and Illiberalism, 2022
  • "The Uncertain Future of Administrative Law," (with Charles Sabel), Daedalus, 2021
  • “New Look Constitutionalism,” 167 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1749, 2019
  • “The Search for an Egalitarian First Amendment,” (with David Pozen), 118 Columbia Law Review 1953, 2018
  • “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
  • "Bonhoeffer on Law-Breaking," (Adam Clark and Michael Mawson, eds.), Ontology and Ethics: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Contemporary Scholarship, 2013
  • "The Irony of Assassination: On the Ideology of Lucan's Invocation to Nero," Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica, 2011 

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