Kurt T. Lash

Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law
Co-Director, Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law


One of the nation’s leading scholars of constitutional law, Professor Kurt T. Lash is honored as the newest recipient of the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, where he directs the Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law.

The author of The Fourteenth Amendment and the Privileges and Immunities of American Citizenship (Cambridge University Press 2014), Professor Lash has written numerous books and articles on constitutional law and American legal history, including The Lost History of the Ninth Amendment (Oxford University Press 2009) and The American First Amendment in the Twenty-First Century: Cases and Materials (5th edition, Foundation Press) (with William A. Van Alstyne). His articles appear in some of the top law reviews in the United States, including the Stanford Law Review, Virginia Law ReviewGeorgetown Law JournalNorthwestern Law ReviewNotre Dame Law Review and Texas Law Review, and his scholarship has been cited by both state and federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.  Prof. Lash has also published on-line essays for the Chicago Law Review and the Yale Law Journal.

Professor Lash has appeared on a number of local and national news programs, including guests appearances on “On Point with Tom Ashbrook” (NPR Boston, national syndication), and he served as an “expert and advisor” for the four-part PBS series, Constitution USA with Peter Sagal (2013) (Prof. Lash appears in episodes III & IV).

During the fall semester 2012, Professor Lash was a visiting professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law.

Follow Professor Lash on Twitter @kurtlash1


JD Yale Law School
BA Whitman College

Areas of Expertise

Constitutional Law
First Amendment (Speech and Religious Liberty)
Legal History
State-Federal Regulations (Federalism)



Constitutional Law Colloquium
Constitutional Theory History & Law
Constitutional Law I
Constitutional Law III
First Amendment
Law Review
Reconstruction Amendments

Selected Publications


THE RECONSTRUCTION AMENDMENTS: ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS (two volumes) (under contract with University of Chicago Press).

THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT AND THE PRIVILEGES OR IMMUNITIES OF AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Recipient of the Wayne R. LaFave Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship (2015)

THE AMERICAN FIRST AMENDMENT IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: CASES AND MATERIALS (with William W. Van Alstyne) (5th ed., Foundation Press, 2014).

THE LOST HISTORY OF THE NINTH AMENDMENT (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Articles and Essays

The Due Process Understanding of the 1866 Civil Rights Act (in draft). George Washington’s Constitution: A Review of Saikrishna Prakash, IMPERIAL FROM THE BEGINNING: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE ORIGINAL EXECUTIVE (Yale, 2015), The New Rambler Review (2016).

The Sum of All Delegated Power, 124 Yale Law Journal Forum 180 (2014).

Originalism All the Way Down?, 30 Constitutional Commentary 149 (2014). The Cost of Judicial Error: Stare Decisis and the Role of Normative Theory, 89 Notre Dame Law Review 5 (2014).

Inkblot: The Ninth Amendment as Textual Justification for Judicial Enforcement of the Right to Privacy, 80 Chicago Law Review Dialogue 219 (2013).

The Constitutional Referendum of 1866: Andrew Johnson and the Original Meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause, 101 Georgetown Law Journal 1275 (2013).