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
Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Legislative Process, Religion & Law
Contact
Biography

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
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Publications
  1. Jay Wexler, Tuttle in the Balance: A Novel, ABA Publishing (2015).
    Publisher
  2. 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).
  3. Jay Wexler, "Government Disapproval of Religion," 2013 Brigham Young University Law Review 119 (2013).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  4. 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).
    SSRN
  5. Jay Wexler, Adventures of Ed Tuttle, Associate Justice, and Other Stories, Quid Pro, LLC (2012).
    Publisher
  6. Jay Wexler & David Hatton, "The First Ever (Maybe) Original Jurisdiction Standings," 1 Journal of Legal Metrics 19 (2012).
    SSRN | Publisher
  7. Jay Wexler, "Eagle Party," 14 Green Bag 2d 181 (2011).
  8. 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).
  9. Jay Wexler, The Odd Clauses: Understanding the Constitution Through Ten of its Most Curious Provisions, Beacon Press (2011).
    Publisher
  10. Jay Wexler, "From the Classroom to the Courtroom: Intelligent Design and the Constitution," 3:2 Evolution: Education & Outreach 215 (2010).
  11. 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).
  12. Jay Wexler, "Justice Ginsburg's Footnotes," in Symposium The Jurisprudence of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 43 New England Law Review (2010).
    Lexis Advance
  13. Jay Wexler, Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars, Beacon Press (2009).
    Publisher
  14. Jay Wexler, "Religion in Public Schools," in The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion 815, Richard A. Shweder, ed., University of Chicago Press (2009).
  15. Jay Wexler, "Laugh Track II, Still Laughin'!" 117 Yale Law Journal Pocket Part 130 (2007).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  16. Jay Wexler, "Protecting Religion Through Statute: The Mixed Case of the United States," 5(3) Review of Faith and International Affairs 17 (2007).
  17. 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]
  18. Jay Wexler, "The (Non)Uniqueness of Environmental Law," 74 George Washington Law Review 260 (2006).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  19. Jay Wexler, "The Endorsement Court," 21 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 263 (2006).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  20. 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).
  21. Jay Wexler, "Intelligent Design and the First Amendment: A Response," 84 Washington University Law Quarterly 63 (2006).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  22. Jay Wexler, "Kitzmiller and the 'Is it Science?' Question," 5 First Amendment Law Review 90 (2006).
    Westlaw | " target="_blank">Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  23. Jay Wexler, "Too Much, Too Little: Religion in the Public Schools," 6 University of Maryland Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class 107 (2006).
    Westlaw | " target="_blank">Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  24. Jay Wexler, "Laugh Track," 9 Green Bag 2d 59 (2005).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  25. Jay Wexler, "The Scopes Trope," review of Larry A. Witham, Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America, Oxford University Press (2002), 93 Georgetown Law Journal 1693 (2005). Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  26. Jay Wexler, "Parks as Gyms? Recreational Paradigms and Public Health in the National Parks," 30 American Journal of Law and Medicine 155 (2004).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  27. Jay Wexler, "Darwin, Design, and Disestablishment: Teaching the Evolution Controversy in Public Schools," 56 Vanderbilt Law Review 749 (2003).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  28. Jay Wexler, "Framing the Public Square," review of Stephen L. Carter, God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics, Basic Books (2000), 91 Georgetown Law Journal 183 (2002). Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  29. Jay Wexler, "Preparing for the Clothed Public Square: Teaching About Religion, Civic Education, and the Constitution," 43 William and Mary Law Review 1159 (2002).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  30. Jay Wexler, "Defending the Middle Way: Intermediate Scrutiny as Judicial Minimalism," 66 George Washington Law Review 298 (1998).
    Westlaw | " target="_blank">Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  31. Jay Wexler, "Cleaning the Mess?" 49 Stanford Law Review 667 (1997). [Book Note]
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  32. Jay Wexler, "Of Pandas, People, and the First Amendment: The Constitutionality of Teaching Intelligent Design in the Public Schools," 49 Stanford Law Review 439 (1997). [Note]
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  33. Jay Wexler, "Risk in the Balance," Risk Versus Risk: Tradeoffs in Protecting Health and the Environment, J. D. Graham & J. B. Wiener, eds., Harvard University Press (1995), 30 Connecticut Law Review 225 (1997). Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  34. Jay Wexler, review of Edward Tenner, Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences, Vintage (1997), 16 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 334 (1997). Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  35. Jay Wexler, When God is Not Green: A World-wide Journey to Places Where Religious Practice and Environmentalism Collide, Beacon Press (forthcoming).
    Publisher
Courses

Administrative Law: LAW JD 801

4 credits

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
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
TR 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 4 Abigail R. Moncrieff LAW 414
SPRG 2015: LAW JD 801 B1 , Jan 13th to Apr 21st 2015
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
TR 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Jack M. Beermann LAW 414
SPRG 2015: LAW JD 801 D1 , Jan 12th to Apr 22nd 2015
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
MW 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Colin S. Diver LAW 101
FALL 2015: LAW JD 801 A1 , Aug 31st to Dec 2nd 2015
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
MW 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Abigail R. Moncrieff LAW 414
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 801 D1 , Jan 11th to Apr 20th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
MW 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Colin S. Diver LAW 414
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 801 L1 , Jan 12th to Apr 19th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
TR 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Gary S. Lawson LAW 414

American Indian Law: LAW JD 994

3 credits

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
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
W 4:20 pm 7:20 pm 3 Jonathan D. Witten LAW 419

Environmental Law: LAW JD 833

4 credits

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
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
MW 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Kenneth A. Reich LAW 410
FALL 2015: LAW JD 833 A1 , Sep 1st to Dec 2nd 2015
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
TW 12:50 pm 2:00 pm 4 Jay D. Wexler LAW 101
F 12:00 pm 1:20 pm 4 Jay D. Wexler LAW 101

Law and Religion: LAW JD 944

3 credits

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
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
MW 11:00 am 12:25 pm 3 Jay D. Wexler LAW 209
In the Media
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