Jay D. Wexler

Professor of Law

Michaels Faculty Research Scholar

BA magna cum laude, Harvard University
MA, University of Chicago Divinity School
JD, Stanford University

Areas of Interest
Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Legislative Process, Marijuana Law, Religion & Law, U.S. Supreme Court

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, constitutional law, environmental law, and marijuana law. His articles, essays, and reviews have been published in the BYU Law ReviewGeorge Washington Law ReviewGeorgetown Law JournalMinnesota Law Review, Texas Law ReviewVanderbilt Law ReviewWashington University Law Review, and William and Mary Law Review, among other places.

Professor Wexler is also the author of six books. His most recent volume, Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans, and Others are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Life, was published in 2019 by Redwood Press, the trade imprint of Stanford University Press, and won a 2019 Independent Publishers Gold Medal award in the Religion category. His current book project, which is under contract with the University of California Press for publication in 2022, is entitled Weed Rules: Toward a Just, Joyous, and Sensible Marijuana Policy in a Post-Legalization Nation. Professor Wexler’s shorter pieces have appeared in places like the Boston GlobeHuffington PostMcSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Mental FlossNational Geographic’s NewsWatch, The New YorkerNewsweek, SalonSlate, Spy, USA Today, and Vox.

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, Madrid, Moscow, Oslo, Santiago, Tallinn, and Warsaw. In addition, Professor Wexler has appeared as a church-state law expert in the documentary film Hail Satan? which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018, and in an episode of the Emmy award winning A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

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

  1. Jay Wexler, Weed Rules: Blazing the Way to a Just and Joyous Marijuana Policy, University of California Press (under contract for publication in 2023).
  2. Jay Wexler & Connor Burns, "American Edibles: How Cannabis Regulatory Policy Rehashes Prohibitionist Fears and What to do About It," 44 Seattle University Law Review (forthcoming).
    SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  3. Jay Wexler, "Secular Invocations, the First Amendment, and the Promise of Religious Pluralism," in Symposium "Is This a Christian Nation?", 26 Roger Williams Law Review 620 (2021).
    SSRN | Scholarly Commons | Publisher
  4. Jay Wexler, "Fun With Reverse Ejusdem Generis," 105 Minnesota Law Review 1 (2020).
    Scholarly Commons | Publisher | SSRN
  5. Jay Wexler, "The Educative Function of Religion in the Public Square," in Freedom of Religion or Belief in Situations of Crisis: Why Can't We Get Along? , International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University and the University of Tartu Faculty of Law (forthcoming). [Conference Proceedings] Conference held in Tallinn, Estonia, June 16-19, 2016., Professor Wexler requested that this be taken down since it was never actually published.
  6. Jay Wexler, Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans, and Others are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Life, Stanford University Press (2019).
    Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  7. Jay Wexler, "Book Review," review of James W. Ely Jr., The Contract Clause: A Constitutional History, University Press of Kansas (2016), 48 Journal of Interdisciplinary History 415 (2017). Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  8. Jay Wexler, "When Religion Pollutes: How Law Should Respond When Religious Practice Threatens Public Health?" in Law, Religion, and Health in the United States , Cambridge University Press (2017). Publisher | Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  9. Jay Wexler & Steven G. Calabresi, "Article I, Section 6," in Interactive Constitution , National Constitution Center (2016). Publisher
  10. Jay Wexler, When God is Not Green: A World-wide Journey to Places Where Religious Practice and Environmentalism Collide, Beacon Press (2016).
    Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  11. Jay Wexler, "When God Isn't Green: Some Thoughts on the Thoughts of Nagle and Schindler," Boston University Law Review Annex (Aug 2, 2016).
    Publisher | Scholarly Commons | Publisher
  12. Jay Wexler, Tuttle in the Balance: A Novel, ABA Publishing (2015).
    Scholarly Commons | Publisher
  13. 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).
    Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  14. Jay Wexler, "Government Disapproval of Religion," 2013 Brigham Young University Law Review 119 (2013).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Scholarly Commons
  15. 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 | Scholarly Commons
  16. Jay Wexler, Adventures of Ed Tuttle, Associate Justice, and Other Stories, Quid Pro, LLC (2012).
    Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  17. Jay Wexler & David Hatton, "The First Ever (Maybe) Original Jurisdiction Standings," 1 Journal of Legal Metrics 19 (2012).
    SSRN | Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  18. Jay Wexler, "Eagle Party," 14 Green Bag 2d 181 (2011).
  19. 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).
  20. Jay Wexler, The Odd Clauses: Understanding the Constitution Through Ten of its Most Curious Provisions, Beacon Press (2011).
  21. Jay Wexler, "From the Classroom to the Courtroom: Intelligent Design and the Constitution," 3:2 Evolution: Education & Outreach 215 (2010).
  22. Jay Wexler, "Intelligent Design and Judicial Minimalism: 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).
  23. Jay Wexler, "Justice Ginsburg's Footnotes," in Symposium The Jurisprudence of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 43 New England Law Review (2010).
    Scholarly Commons
  24. Jay Wexler, Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars, Beacon Press (2009).
  25. Jay Wexler, "Religion in Public Schools," in The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion 815, Richard A. Shweder, ed., University of Chicago Press (2009).
  26. Jay Wexler, "Laugh Track II, Still Laughin'!" 117 Yale Law Journal Pocket Part 130 (2007).
  27. Jay Wexler, "Protecting Religion Through Statute: The Mixed Case of the United States," 5(3) Review of Faith and International Affairs 17 (2007).
  28. 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]
  29. Jay Wexler, "The (Non)Uniqueness of Environmental Law," 74 George Washington Law Review 260 (2006).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  30. Jay Wexler, "The Endorsement Court," 21 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 263 (2006).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  31. 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).
  32. Jay Wexler, "Intelligent Design and the First Amendment: A Response," 84 Washington University Law Quarterly 63 (2006).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Scholarly Commons
  33. Jay Wexler, "Kitzmiller and the 'Is it Science?' Question," 5 First Amendment Law Review 90 (2006).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  34. 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 | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  35. Jay Wexler, "Laugh Track," 9 Green Bag 2d 59 (2005).
  36. 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
  37. Jay Wexler, "Parks as Gyms? Recreational Paradigms and Public Health in the National Parks," 30 American Journal of Law and Medicine 155 (2004).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  38. Jay Wexler, "Darwin, Design, and Disestablishment: Teaching the Evolution Controversy in Public Schools," 56 Vanderbilt Law Review 749 (2003).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  39. 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
  40. 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 | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  41. Jay Wexler, "Defending the Middle Way: Intermediate Scrutiny as Judicial Minimalism," 66 George Washington Law Review 298 (1998).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  42. Jay Wexler, "Cleaning the Mess?" 49 Stanford Law Review 667 (1997). [Book Note]
  43. 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 | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  44. 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
  45. 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
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