- J.S.D., Yale Law School, 1998
- LL.M., Yale Law School, 1993
- J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1986
- B.A., Barnard College, 1981
Katherine Franke is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, where she also directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and is the faculty director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Center for Palestine Studies. She is among the nation's leading scholars writing on law, race, religion, and rights. Franke is also the founder and faculty director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project, a think tank based at Columbia Law School that develops policy and thought leadership on the complex ways in which religious liberty rights interact with other fundamental rights.
Her most recent book, Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition (Haymarket, 2019) makes the case for racial reparations today by telling the story of experiments in South Carolina and Mississippi in the 1860s where freed people were given land explicitly as reparation for enslavement and then had it taken away by the government. Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality (NYU Press, 2015), considered the costs of winning marriage for same-sex couples today and for African-Americans at the end of the Civil War. Franke was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 to undertake research for Wedlocked. In addition to her work at the Law School, she works regularly in Palestine, most recently serving as an academic mentor for the human rights faculty at Al Quds University in East Jerusalem. She also chairs the board of directors of the Center for Constitutional Rights, based in New York City.
Before coming to the Law School, Franke was an associate professor of law at Fordham Law School and the University of Arizona College of Law. From 1990 to 1991, she was the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild. Prior to that, she worked for the New York City Commission on Human Rights and founded the AIDS and Employment Project.
Download Professor Franke's Bio here.
Download a high resolution headshot here.
Professor Franke's last name is pronounced "Frank-ee"
- Repair: Slavery's Unfinished Business (Haymarket, 2019)
- Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality (NYU Press, 2015)
Works in Progress
- Opinion of Justice Katherine Franke in Obergefell v. Hodges, (in What Obergefell Should Have Said (Jack Balkin ed., Yale U. Press 2020)
- "Property or Spouse?" review of Tera W. Hunter, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century, Women's Review of Books (January/February 2018)
- "What Marriage Equality Teaches Us: The Afterlife of Racism and Homophobia," in After Marriage Equality: The Future of LBGT Rights, (Carlos A. Ball ed., NYU Press 2016)
- "Taking a Break From Acrimony: The Feminist Method of Ann Scales," 91 Denver University Law Review (2013)
- "Dating the State: The Moral Hazards of Winning Gay Rights," 44 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 1 (2012)
- "The Curious Relationship of Marriage and Freedom," in Marriage at a Crossroad (E. Scott and M. Garrison eds. Cambridge U. Press 2012)
- "Dignifying Rights: A Comment on Jeremy Waldron's Dignity, Rights and Responsibilities," 43 Ariz. St. L.J.1177 (2012)
- "Public Sex, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Afterlife of Homophobia," in Petite Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public (Carlos Motta & Joshua Lubin-Levy eds. 2011)
- "Marriage Is a Mixed Blessing," Op-Ed, New York Times, June 23, 2011
- "Sexual Rights and State Governance," 104 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 385 (2010)
- "Eve Sedgwick, Civil Rights and Perversion," 33 Harv. J. Gender & Law 313 (2009)
- "Longing for Loving," 76 Ford. L.Rev. 2685 (2008)
- "Gendered Subjects of Transitional Justice," 15 Colum. J. Gender & L. 813 (2006)
- Amicus Curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, October 30, 2017 (on behalf of 15 faith-based organizations)
- Amicus Curiae brief submitted to 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Rosa v. Park West Bank, (on behalf of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and Equal Rights Advocates), February 1, 2000
- Amicus Curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., August 11, 1997