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Bagenstos, Samuel

Frank G. Millard Professor of Law

3076 South Hall

Samuel Bagenstos, the Frank G. Millard Professor of Law, specializes in constitutional and civil rights litigation. From 2009 to 2011, he was a political appointee in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as the principal deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights, the No. 2 official in the Civil Rights Division. His accomplishments included the promulgation of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act regulations—the first comprehensive update of those regulations since they were first promulgated in 1991—and the reinvigoration of the Civil Rights Division's enforcement of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C., which guarantees people with disabilities the right to live and receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate. He led the negotiations of significant Olmstead settlements with the states of Delaware and Georgia, which guarantee appropriate, community-based services to thousands of people with disabilities. He also personally argued major cases in federal district courts and courts of appeals.

As an academic, Professor Bagenstos has published articles in journals such as the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the California Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, and many others. He also has published two books: Law and the Contradictions of the Disability Rights Movement (Yale University Press, 2009) and Disability Rights Law: Cases and Materials (Foundation Press, 2010), and he has written articles for non-academic audiences in publications such as Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, The American Prospect, The Washington Monthly, and The New Republic.

Professor Bagenstos frequently consults with civil rights organizations and remains an active appellate and U.S. Supreme Court litigator in civil rights and federalism cases. He has argued four cases before the Supreme Court, including Young v. United Parcel Service, 135 S. Ct 1338 (2015), which established new protections for pregnant workers, and United States v. Georgia, 546 U.S. 151 (2006), which upheld, as applied to his client's case, the constitutionality of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Professor Bagenstos also has testified before Congress on several occasions, including in support of the Fair Pay Restoration Act, the ADA Amendments Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, as well as on the application of the ADA to advancing technology and the problem of mental illness in prisons.

Prior to joining the Michigan Law faculty, Professor Bagenstos was a professor of law and, from 2007 to 2008, also associate dean for research and faculty development at Washington University School of Law. He has been on the faculty of Harvard Law School and was a visiting professor at UCLA School of Law. He clerked for the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for one year, then joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Following that position, he served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1993, Professor Bagenstos earned his JD, magna cum laude, from Harvard, where he received the Fay Diploma and was articles office co-chair of the Harvard Law Review. He received his BA, with highest honors and highest distinction, from the University of North Carolina.

Recent Publications

More Publications...

"Disability Rights and Labor: Is This Conflict Really Necessary?" Indiana L. J. 92 (Forthcoming).
Full Text: SSRN

"Disparate Impact and the Role of Classification and Motivation in Equal Protection Law after Inclusive Communities." Cornell L. Rev. 101, no. 5 (2016): 1115-69.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | SSRN

"Who is Responsible for the Stealth Assault on Civil Rights?" Review of No Day in Court: Access to Justice and the Politics of Judical Retrenchment, by S. Staszak. Mich. L. Rev. 114, no. 6 (2016): 893-911.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Lexis | Westlaw

co-author. "We Don't Need 'Modern Asylums.'" H. Pollack, co-author. The American Prospect 26, no. 3 (2015): 18-9.
Full Text: ProQuest (UMich users) | ProQuest

"The Disability Cliff." Democracy 35 (2015): 55-67.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | ProQuest (UMich users) | ProQuest | WWW

"The ADA and the Supreme Court: A Mixed Record." J. Am. Med. Assoc. 313, no. 22 (2015): 2217-8.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

"On Class-Not-Race." In A Nation of Widening Opportunities? The Civil Rights Act at 50, edited by E. D. Katz and S. R. Bagensto, 105-18. Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Publishing, 2015.
MLaw Catalog
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN | WWW

Co-editor. A Nation of Widening Opportunities: The Civil Rights Act at 50. E. D. Katz, co-editor. Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Publishing, 2015.
MLaw Catalog
Full Text: MLaw Repository | WWW

"Viva Conditional Federal Spending!" Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 37, no. 1 (2014): 93-9. (Adapted from panel remarks given at the 2013 Federalist Society Annual Student Symposium on March 1, 2013, at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas.)
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"Universalism and Civil Rights (with Notes on Voting Rights after Shelby)." Yale L. J. 123 (2014): 2838-76.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | SSRN | WWW

"The Unrelenting Libertarian Challenge to Public Accommodations Law." Stan. L. Rev. 66, no. 6 (2014): 1-33.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | SSRN | WWW

"On Class-Not-Race." Law Quad. Notes 57, no. 2 (2014): 22-3.
Full Text: WWW​​​

"Formalism and Employer Liability Under Title VII." U. Chi. Legal F. 2014 (2014).
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | SSRN

Disability Rights Law: Cases and Materials. 2nd ed. University Casebook Series. St. Paul: Foundation Press, 2014.
MLaw Catalog

"Bottlenecks and Antidiscrimination Theory." Review of Bottlenecks: A New Theory of Equal Opportunity, by J. Fishkin. Tex. L. Rev. 93, no. 2 (2014): 415-35.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | WWW

"The Anti-Leveraging Principle and the Spending Clause after NFIB." Geo. L. J. 101, no. 4 (2013): 861-921.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | WWW

"Federalism by Waiver After the Health Care Case." In The Health Care Case: The Supreme Court's Decision and its Implications, edited by G. Metzger, T. Morrison, and N. Persily, 227-44. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013.
MLaw Catalog
Full Text: Oxford (Umich users) | SSRN

"Employment Law and Social Equality." Mich L. Rev. 112, no. 2 (2013): 225-73.
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"The Past and Future of Deinstitutionalization Litigation." Cardozo L. Rev. 34, no. 1 (2012): 1-52.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN | HEIN (Umich users) | HEIN | Westlaw


Presented "The Politics of Disability Identity at ADA +25" at the Syracuse University College of Law's Disability Law and Policy Program Spring Lecture Series, April 2016. ​

Presented "Formalism and Employer Liability Under Title VII" at the University of Chicago Legal Forum's symposium on the Civil Rights Act at 50 Years, November 2013.

Presented "Disability and the Tension Between Civil and Social Rights" at a faculty workshop on democracy, citizenship, and constitutionalism, University of Pennsylvania, October 2013.

Presented "On Class-not-Race" at a symposium on the Civil Rights Act at 50, University of Michigan Law School, October 2013.

Presented "Formalism and Employer Liability Under Title VII" at the Eighth Annual Colloquium on Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law, UNLV School of Law, September 2013.

Presented "Employment Law and Social Equality" at the inaugural conference of the Labour Law Research Network, June 2013.

Presented "Employment Law and Social Equality" at the Law and Society Association's annual meeting, May 2013.

Testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary on "Mismanagement at the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice," April 2013.

Spoke on the U.S. Supreme Court's health-care decision at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, January 2013.