Hugh W. Baxter

Professor of Law

Professor of Philosophy

AB with honors, Stanford University
PhD in Philosophy, Yale University
JD with distinction, Stanford University

Areas of Interest
Constitutional Law, Torts, U.S. Supreme Court

Hugh Baxter joined the Boston University faculty in 1992 as a professor of both law and philosophy. Before coming to Boston University in 1992, Professor Baxter served (in 1991-92) as US Supreme Court law clerk to retired Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. and Justice Harry A. Blackmun. After his first year of teaching, Baxter returned to clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her first term at the Supreme Court. He served as Associate Dean for Administration in the School of Law from 2003 to 2005, and received the Michael Melton Award for Teaching Excellence in 2003 and the Dean’s Award for Scholarship in 2011.

  1. Habermas and Law, Hugh Baxter, ed., Ashgate Press (forthcoming).
  2. Hugh Baxter, "Habermas's Sociological and Normative Theory of Law and Democracy: A Reply to Wirts, Flynn, and Zurn," in Symposium on Baxter, Habermas: The Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy, 40 Philosophy and Social Criticism 225 (2014).
  3. Hugh Baxter, "Critical Reflections on Seidman's On Constitutional Disobedience," in Symposium On Constitutional Obligation and Disobedience: A Symposium on Abner S. Green's Against Obligation and Louis Michael Seidman's On Constitutional Disobedience, 93 Boston University Law Review 1373 (2013).
  4. Hugh Baxter, "Niklas Luhmann’s Theory of Autopoietic Legal Systems," 9 Annual Review of Law and Social Science 167 (2013).
  5. Hugh Baxter, "Why the 'Originalism' in 'Living Originalism'?" in Symposium Originalism and Living Constitutionalism: A Symposium on Jack Balkin's Living Originalism and David Strauss's The Living Constitution, 92 Boston University Law Review 1213 (2012).
  6. Hugh Baxter, Habermas: The Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy, Stanford University Press (2011).
  7. Hugh Baxter, "Sandel on Religion in the Public Square," in Symposium Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do: A Public Lecture and and Symposium on Michael J. Sandel's Recent Book, 91 Boston University Law Review 1339 (2011).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  8. Hugh Baxter, "Dworkin's 'One-System' Conception of Law and Morality," in Symposium Justice for Hedgehogs: A Conference on Ronald Dworkin's Forthcoming Book, 90 Boston University Law Review 857 (2010).
  9. Hugh Baxter, "A Comment on Mark Tushnet's Some Notes on Congressional Capacity to Interpret the Constitution," in Symposium The Most Disparaged Branch: The Role of Congress in the Twenty-First Century, 89 Boston University Law Review 511 (2009).
    Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Westlaw
  10. Hugh Baxter, "Justice Ginsburg's Dissent in Bush v. Gore," 43 New England Law Review (2009).
    Lexis Advance
  11. Hugh Baxter, review of David Bilchitz, Poverty and Fundamental Rights: The Justification and Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights, Oxford University Press (2007), 118 Philosophical Review 253 (2009).
  12. Hugh Baxter, "Habermas's Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy," 50 Buffalo Law Review 205 (2002).
    Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Westlaw
  13. Hugh Baxter, "System and Lifeworld in Habermas's Theory of Law," 23 Cardozo Law Review 473 (2002).
    Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Westlaw
  14. Hugh Baxter, "The Lemon Test," in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2d ed., Leonard W. Levy & Kenneth L. Karst, eds., Macmillan Reference USA, 1603 (2000).
  15. Hugh Baxter, "Autopoiesis and the 'Relative Autonomy' of Law," 19 Cardozo Law Review 1987 (1998).
    Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Westlaw
  16. Hugh Baxter, "Managing Legal Change: The Transformation of Establishment Clause Law," 46 UCLA Law Review 343 (1998).
    Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Westlaw
  17. Hugh Baxter, "Bringing Foucault into Law and Law into Foucault," 48 Stanford Law Review 449 (1996).
    Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Westlaw
  18. Hugh Baxter, "System and Lifeworld in Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action," 16 Theory and Society 39 (1987).

3 credits

This course examines the law that organizes democratic processes of election and decision-making. After considering the historical struggle for minority enfranchisement and the Supreme Court's first forays into redistricting and reapportionment, we move to more contemporary topics. Among those topics are campaign-finance law (with special attention to the recent Citizens United decision), the connection of race and political participation under the Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, the constitutional role and rights of political parties (which the Constitution's framers omitted from mention and distrusted as "factions"), and the constitutionality of partisan and bipartisan gerrymandering. A take-home examination and active participation in class discussion are required.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 825 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 2:30 pm 3:55 pm 3 Hugh W. Baxter LAW 420
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