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Primus, Richard

Theodore J. St. Antoine Collegiate Professor of Law

535 Legal Research

Richard Primus, the Theodore J. St. Antoine Collegiate Professor of Law, teaches the law, theory, and history of the U.S. Constitution. In 2008, he won the first-ever Guggenheim Fellowship in Constitutional Studies for his work on the relationship between history and constitutional interpretation. His scholarship has been cited in opinions of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Prof. Primus works with constitutional law on the state level as well as the federal. He has helped state governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses solve practical problems involving state-level constitutional law, both in Michigan and in other states. The students of Michigan Law School have given Prof. Primus the L. Hart Wright Award for Excellence in Teaching on four separate occasions: in 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2011. Prof. Primus graduated from Harvard College in 1992 with an AB, summa cum laude, in social studies. He then earned a DPhil in politics at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and the Jowett Senior Scholar at Balliol College. After studying law at Yale, Prof. Primus clerked for the Hon. Guido Calabresi on the Second Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He then practiced law at the Washington, D.C., office of Jenner & Block before joining the Michigan faculty in 2001.

Recent Publications

More Publications...

"Why Enumeration Matters." Mich. L. Rev. (Forthcoming, 2016).
Full Text: SSRN

"The Limits of Enumeration." Yale L. J. 124, no. 3 (2014): 576-642.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN | WWW

"The Future Resists Control." Review of We The People, Volume 3: The Civil Rights Revolution, by B. Ackerman. Balkinization, May 1, 2014.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | WWW

"Unbundling Constitutionality." U. Chi. L. Rev. 80, no. 3 (2013): 1079-153.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN | Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"How the Gun-Free School Zones Act Saved the Individual Mandate." Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 110, no. 44 (2012).
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Westlaw | WWW


Presented "The Limits of Interpretation" at Yale Law School, November 2014.

Showcase panelist at the Federalist Society's National Lawyers' Convention on the subject of textualism in constitutional interpretation, November 2013.

Coauthor of Law Professors' Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case deciding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, January 2012.

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