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School of Law

Associate Dean for Faculty
Scholarship and Professor of LawChristopher J. Peters
John and Frances Angelos Law Center, Room 516

Administrative Assistant: Laurie Schnitzer
John and Frances Angelos Law Center
Room 1008


J.D., University of Michigan Law School
B.A., Amherst College

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

American Constitutional Law
Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law
Constitutional Theory
Federal Civil Procedure
Legal and Political Theory

C.J. Peters teaches constitutional law, constitutional theory, and civil procedure and writes in the areas of legal, political, and constitutional theory. His book A Matter of Dispute: Morality, Democracy, and Law (Oxford Univ. Press 2011) develops a theory of legal authority and applies it to the American practices of democratic government, constitutionalism, and judicial review. His edited volume Precedent in the United States Supreme Court (Springer 2014) presents a collection of essays from noted legal scholars exploring the Supreme Court’s use of precedent in its constitutional decisions. Peters has published articles in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the Northwestern Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Boston University Law Review, the BYU Law Review,and the peer-reviewed journal Legal Theory, among other journals.

Prior to joining UB’s faculty in 2009, Peters taught for two years as a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and for twelve years at Wayne State University in Detroit. He has taught as a visitor at the law schools of the University of Michigan, Loyola Los Angeles, and the University of Toledo. At Wayne State, Peters received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Donald H. Gordon Award for Teaching Excellence, and three Teacher of the Year awards. At UB, Peters serves as Coordinator of Faculty Scholarship Development.

Peters earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he received the Havighurst Prize in history, and his law degree cum laude from the University of Michigan, where he served on the Michigan Law Review. Before entering teaching, Peters practiced in civil litigation with the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins.

Selected Publications

Books and Book Chapters

Precedent in the United States Supreme Court (Christopher J. Peters ed., 2014).

Introduction, in Precedent in the United States Supreme Court (Christopher J. Peters ed., 33 Ius Gentium 1 (2014)).

Originalism, Stare Decisis, and Constitutional Authority, in Precedent in the United States Supreme Court 189 (Christopher J. Peters ed., 33 Ius Gentium 189 (2014)).

A Matter of Dispute: Morality, Democracy, and Law (Oxford University Press 2010)

Alexander Bickel and the New Judicial Minimalism (with Neal Devins), in Kenneth D. Ward & Cecilia R. Castillo, The Judiciary and American Democracy: Alexander Bickel, The Countermajoritarian Difficulty, and Contemporary Constitutional Theory (SUNY Press, 2005)

Articles and Essays

What Lies Beneath: Interpretive Methodology, Constitutional Authority, and the Case of Originalism, 2013 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 1251.

Under-the-Table Overruling, 54 Wayne Law Review 1067 (2009)

Adjudicative Speech and the First Amendment, 51 UCLA Law Review 705 (2004)

Participation, Representation, and Principled Adjudication, 8 Legal Theory 185 (2002)

Persuasion: A Model of Majoritarianism as Adjudication, 96 Northwestern University Law Review 1 (2001)

Assessing the New Judicial Minimalism, 100 Columbia Law Review 1454 (2000)

Outcomes, Reasons, and Equality, 80 Boston University Law Review 1095 (2000)

Slouching Towards Equality, 84 Iowa Law Review 801 (1999)

Equality Revisited, 110 Harvard Law Review 1210 (1997)

Adjudication as Representation, 97 Columbia Law Review 312 (1997)

Foolish Consistency: On Equality, Integrity, and Justice in Stare Decisis, 105 Yale Law Journal 2031 (1996)

Articles on Social Science Research Network

Talks and Presentations

Presenter, Legal Formalism, Procedural Principles, and Judicial Constraint, Annual Conference, European-American Consortium on Legal Education (May 20, 2014).

Lecturer, District of Columbia v. Heller, Odyssey [Continuing Education Program], Johns Hopkins University (Mar. 24, 2014).

Presenter, Process, Substance, and Constitutional Rights: The Case of the Second Amendment, Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium, Loyola University Chicago School of Law (Nov. 1, 2013).