Jay D. Wexler
Professor of Law
B.A. magna cum laude, Harvard University
M.A., University of Chicago Divinity School
J.D., Stanford University
Areas of Interest
- Office Room 1506C
- Email email@example.com
- Phone 617-353-2789
Professor Jay Wexler has taught at Boston University School of Law since 2001. He earned tenure in 2007 and was awarded the Michael Melton Award for Excellence in Teaching at the law school in 2009. Professor Wexler’s scholarship focuses on church-state law. His articles, essays, and reviews have been published in the BYU Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Texas Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Washington University Law Review, and William and Mary Law Review, among other places.
Professor Wexler has published two non-fiction books with Beacon Press in Boston, and one work of fiction with Quid Pro Books. His forthcoming non-fiction book will focus on worldwide clashes between religious practices and environmental protection, and will also be published by Beacon Press. Professor Wexler often reviews books for the Boston Globe, and his shorter essays have appeared in places like The Huffington Post, Mental Floss, National Geographic’s NewsWatch, Salon, Slate, and Spy.
Wexler speaks on church-state and other constitutional issues across the United States and internationally. In the fall of 2014, he taught on a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Buenos Aires. He has previously taught constitutional civil liberties at the University of Lyon 3 and church-state law on a Fulbright Fellowship at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. He has delivered lectures on constitutional and environmental topics in Bangkok, Hanoi, Moscow, Oslo, Santiago, and Warsaw.
Before coming to BU Law, Professor Wexler worked as a law clerk for Judge David Tatel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the United States Supreme Court. From 1999 to 2001, he was an attorney advisor at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice where he provided advice on constitutional and statutory issues to various members of the executive branch.
In 2005, Professor Wexler published a “study” of humor in Supreme Court oral argument in the legal journal The Green Bag. The New York Times subsequently ran a front page story on the study, but unfortunately this did not result in funnier jokes being told from the bench. Wexler tweets @SCOTUSHUMOR.
Activities & Engagements
“When Religion Pollutes: How Should the Law Respond to Religious Beliefs and Practices That Harm the Environment and Risk the Public’s Health?”
When Religion Intersects with Mental, Public, and Environmental Health, 2015 Annual Conference: Law, Religion, and Health in America, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
- Jay Wexler, Tuttle in the Balance: A Novel, ABA Publishing (2015).
- Jay Wexler, "Constitutional Exaptation, Political Dysfunction, and the Recess Appointments Clause," in Symposium America's Political Dysfunction: Constitutional Connections, Causes and Cures, 94 Boston University Law Review 807 (2014).
- Jay Wexler, "Some Thoughts on the First Amendment's Religion Clauses and Abner Greene's Against Obligation, with Reference to Patton Oswalt's Character 'Paul from Staten Island' in the Film Big Fan," 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 1363 (2013).
- Jay Wexler, Adventures of Ed Tuttle, Associate Justice, and Other Stories, Quid Pro, LLC (2012).
- Jay Wexler, "Eagle Party," 14 Green Bag 2d 181 (2011).
- Jay Wexler, "I’m a Laycockian! (for the Most Part)," review of Douglas Laycock, Collected Works on Religious Liberty, Volume 1: Overviews and History, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (2010), 89 Texas Law Review (2011).
- Jay Wexler, The Odd Clauses: Understanding the Constitution Through Ten of its Most Curious Provisions, Beacon Press (2011).
- Jay Wexler, "From the Classroom to the Courtroom: Intelligent Design and the Constitution," 3:2 Evolution: Education & Outreach 215 (2010).
- Jay Wexler, "Judicial Minimalism and the Evolution Controversy: Further Thoughts on the 'Is it Science?' Question," in Symposium Intelligent Design and the Constitution, 4 University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy 30 (2010).
- Jay Wexler, "Justice Ginsburg's Footnotes," in Symposium The Jurisprudence of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 43 New England Law Review (2010).
- Jay Wexler, Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars, Beacon Press (2009).
- Jay Wexler, "Religion in Public Schools," in The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion 815, Richard A. Shweder, ed., University of Chicago Press (2009).
- Jay Wexler, "Protecting Religion Through Statute: The Mixed Case of the United States," 5(3) Review of Faith and International Affairs 17 (2007).
- Jay Wexler, "What Should We Teach When We Teach About Religion? The Case for a Global Perspective," in Conference Proceedings: Religion and the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia: Continuing the Discussion , Institute for Global Engagement (2007). [In English and Vietnamese]
- Jay Wexler, "From the Classroom to the Courtroom: Intelligent Design and the Constitution," in Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design is Wrong for Our Schools 83, Beacon Press (2006).
- Jay Wexler, When God is Not Green: A World-wide Journey to Places Where Religious Practice and Environmentalism Collide, Beacon Press (forthcoming).
Administrative Law: LAW JD 801
MONCRIEFF: This course will examine the nature and functions of federal administrative agencies and the legal controls on agency action. Topics include the status of administrative agencies in the constitutional framework of separation of powers; agency rulemaking and adjudication; and the availability, timing, and scope of judicial review of agency action. DIVER/LAWSON: This course will examine the nature and functions of federal administrative agencies and the legal controls on agency action. Agency action is situated and examined in its political and legal contexts. Topics include the status of administrative agencies in the constitutional framework of separation of powers including the non-delegation doctrine, the President's appointment and removal powers in light of the unitary executive, the constitutionality of the legislative and line-item vetoes, the constitutionality of agency adjudication, and the constitutional (and political) status of independent agencies; agency rulemaking and adjudication including the choice of procedural model and the procedural requirements of the rulemaking model; and the availability, timing and scope of judicial review of agency action including standing to seek judicial review and exceptions to the availability of judicial review. The course also examines different methods of policy analysis such as regulatory impact analysis and cost-benefit analysis. Additional topics include discriminatory enforcement, regulatory delay, judicial imposition of procedural constraints on agencies, the implication of private rights of action from regulatory statutes and the availability citizens' suits. Some attention may be paid to differences between state and federal separation of powers doctrines. GRADING NOTICE: Professor Diver's section of this course will not offer the CR/NC/H option.FALL 2014: LAW JD 801 A1 , Sep 2nd to Dec 4th 2014
|TR||2:10 pm||4:10 pm||4||Abigail R. Moncrieff||LAW||414|
|TR||10:40 am||12:40 pm||4||Jack M. Beermann||LAW||414|
|MW||10:40 am||12:40 pm||4||Colin S. Diver||LAW||101|
|MW||10:40 am||12:40 pm||4||Abigail R. Moncrieff||LAW||414|
|MW||10:40 am||12:40 pm||4||Colin S. Diver||LAW||414|
|TR||10:40 am||12:40 pm||4||Gary S. Lawson||LAW||414|
American Indian Law: LAW JD 994
This is a survey course of the laws and policies influencing American Indians in the United States today. We will review the tortured history of the relationship between American Indians and the United States government and discuss the complex legal and policy issues surrounding civil and criminal jurisdiction and environmental, land use and economic development issues on and off the Reservation. We will focus on the powers of the respective players in each of these fields, including local and state government, the federal government and tribal governments. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule.SPRG 2015: LAW JD 994 A1 , Jan 14th to Apr 15th 2015
|W||4:20 pm||7:20 pm||3||Jonathan D. Witten||LAW||419|
Environmental Law: LAW JD 833
This is an introductory survey course in environmental law. Topics include clean air, clean water, hazardous waste regulation and cleanup, and the protection of endangered species. Administrative Law is recommended but not required as a prerequisite.SPRG 2015: LAW JD 833 A1 , Jan 12th to Apr 22nd 2015
|MW||10:40 am||12:40 pm||4||Kenneth A. Reich||LAW||410|
Law and Religion: LAW JD 944
This class will look in depth at the intersection of law and religion in the United States, focusing primarily on the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment. Attention will also be given to statutes that protect religious freedom and prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of religion.SPRG 2016: LAW JD 944 A1 , Jan 11th to Apr 20th 2016
|MW||11:00 am||12:25 pm||3||Jay D. Wexler||LAW||209|
In the Media
- January 22, 2016
Jay Wexler interviewed in BU Today. read more
- January 5, 2016
Jay Wexler interviewed by New Hampshire Public Radio read more
- January 4, 2016
Jay Wexler interviewed in Above the Law. read more
- December 23, 2015
Jay Wexler featured in National Law Journal. read more
- December 4, 2015
Jay Wexler featured in The Boston Globe. read more
- December 4, 2015
Prof. Jay Wexler featured in the Boston Globe. read more
- October 2, 2015
Jay Wexler featured in Benzinga. read more
- July 27, 2015
Jay Wexler quoted in Bloomberg. read more
- February 17, 2015
Jay Wexler quoted in USA Today. read more