Carl H. Esbeck

R.B. Price Professor Emeritus of Law / Isabelle Wade & Paul C. Lyda Professor Emeritus of Law

BS, Iowa State University, '71
JD, with distinction, Cornell University, '74

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professor Esbeck joined the faculty in 1981. After serving as an Editor on the Cornell Law Review, he held a clerkship with the Honorable Howard C. Bratton, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in New Mexico. From 1975-81, Professor Esbeck practiced law in the firm of Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was a partner when he left in 1981.

He has published widely in the area of religious liberty and church-state relations. Professor Esbeck is recognized as the progenitor of “Charitable Choice,” an integral part of the 1996 Federal Welfare Reform Act, later made a part of three additional federal welfare programs. And he has taken the lead in recognizing that the modern Supreme Court has applied the establishment clause not as a right, but as a structural limit on the government’s authority in specifically religious matters. While on leave from 1999 to 2002, Professor Esbeck directed the Center for Law & Religious Freedom (CLRF) and then served as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. While directing the CLRF, Professor Esbeck was a central part of the congressional advocacy behind the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). While at the Department of Justice one of his duties was to direct a task force to remove barriers to the equal-treatment of faith-based organizations applying for social service grants.

Professor Esbeck teaches Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Religious Liberty, Civil Rights, and a Seminar on the Foundations of the American Constitution.

Latest News

Professor Esbeck Makes Presentations About Establishment Clause, Title IX and Religious Freedom

Professor Esbeck Notes 20th Anniversary of the Faith-Based Initiative

Journal of Church and State Publishes Article by Professor Esbeck

Oxford Journal Accepts Article by Professor Esbeck

The Culture Wars & Religious Liberty: Professor Esbeck Participates in Florida Federalist Society Meeting

More News on Prof. Carl H. Esbeck

Most Recent Publications

When Religious Exemptions Cause Third-Party Harms: Is The Establishment Clause Violated?, 58 OXFORD JOURNAL OF CHURCH AND STATE __ (first published online March 14, 2016; forthcoming in print Winter 2016).

A Post-Obergefell America: Is a Season of Legal and Civic Strife Inevitable?, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI SCHOOL OF LAW LEGAL STUDIES RESEARCH PAPER no. 2015-24

Federal Contractors, Title VII, and LGBT Employment Discrimination: Can Religious Organizations Continue to Staff on a Religious Basis?, 4 OXFORD JOURNAL OF LAW AND RELIGION 368 (2015).

Third-Party Harms, Congressional Statutes Accommodating Religion, and the Establishment Clause, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI SCHOOL OF LAW LEGAL STUDIES RESEARCH PAPER no.2015-10

Third-Party Burdens, Congressional Accommodations for Religion, and the Establishment Clause, Hearing on Oversight of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, before the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice (February 13, 2015)

More Publications By Carl H. Esbeck