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Mitch Berman

Mitchell Berman

Leon Meltzer Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy; Co-Director of the Institute of Law and Philosophy

Mitch Berman writes and teaches in American constitutional law and theory, philosophy of criminal law, general jurisprudence, and philosophy of sport. His contributions to these diverse fields include a novel nonoriginalist theory of American constitutional interpretation, a new positivist account of legal content, and an original retributivist justification for criminal punishment.

He also claims to have solved the paradox of blackmail, the mystery of unconstitutional conditions, and the age-old puzzle of whether referees should “swallow the whistle” in crunch time.

Berman’s many articles and book chapters on these and other topics have appeared, or are forthcoming, in the leading peer-reviewed journals in his fields, including Ethics, Noûs, Philosophy & Phenomenological Research, Legal Theory, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Law & Philosophy, Criminal Law & Philosophy, and Journal of Philosophy of Sport; in prominent student-edited law reviews including University of Pennsylvania Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Michigan Law Review, California Law Review, Texas Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Virginia Law Review, NYU Law Review, Duke Law Journal, and Georgetown Law Journal; and in edited volumes published by Oxford, Cambridge, and Routledge.

An award-winning teacher, Berman’s co-authored 2021 textbook, The Jurisprudence of Sport: Sports and Games as Legal Systems, inaugurates a new field of legal-theoretic inquiry and pedagogy, one that introduces students to legal concepts and problematics through the study of rules and practices in sport.