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Stephen B. Burbank

David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice, Emeritus

Burbank is the author of definitive works on federal court rulemaking, inter jurisdictional preclusion, litigation sanctions, international civil litigation, litigation retrenchment, and judicial independence and accountability. He is co-editor (with Barry Friedman) of Judicial Independence at the Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Sage, 2002).

His 1982 article, “The Rules Enabling Act of 1934,” reoriented the theory and practice of court rulemaking. Burbank’s recent scholarship includes a detailed study of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 in historical perspective, an analysis of different approaches to the study of judicial behavior in law and political science, and an empirical study of the retirement decisions of federal judges (with Judge Jay Plager and Gregory Ablavsky).

His recently published book (with Sean Farhang), Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution Against Federal Litigation (Cambridge, 2017) uses original archival research and original data sets to map efforts to scale back private enforcement of federal law across institutional sites. Burbank was appointed by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to the National Commission on Judicial Discipline and Removal and was a principal author of the Commission’s 1993 report.