Loyola University Maryland

Department of Political Science

Dr. Jesse Merriam, Esq.

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Assistant Professor and Pre-Law AdvisorDr. Jesse Merriam
Humanities 250 I
jrmerriam@loyola.edu
410-617-2224

Office Hours:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12-2 PM (or by appointment)

Education:

  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, Political Science
  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School
  • M.A., Johns Hopkins University, Philosophy
  • B.A., Wesleyan University

Research Interests:

  • Constitutional law and theory, especially church-state law
  • The rule of law
  • Logic and law
  • The legal conservative movement

Teaching Experience:

Before coming to Loyola in Fall 2014, I taught at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, New York University, and Johns Hopkins University. 

 

Professional Experience:

After law school, I practiced law for two years as a litigator at the Center for Constitutional Litigation, P.C., a firm dedicated to challenging the constitutionality of restrictions on plaintiff access to various tort remedies.  I also was a researcher at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, where I wrote several articles on church-state law for a general audience. 

 

Publications:

Law Review Articles

  • Preemption as a Consistency Doctrine, 25 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. __ (forthcoming in 2016)
  • A Clarification of the Constitution’s Application Abroad: Making the “Impracticable and Anomalous” Standard More Practicable and Less Anomalous, 21 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 171-240 (2012)
  • Painting Black Spaces Red, Black, and Green: The Constitutionality of the Mural Movement, 13 Berkeley J. Afr.-Am. L. & Pol’y 1-44 (2011) (lead article)
  • Establishment Clause-Trophobia: Building a Framework for Escaping the Confines of Domestic Church-State Jurisprudence, 41 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 699-763 (2010)
  • Why Don’t More Public Schools Teach Sex Education?: A Constitutional Explanation and Critique, 13 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 539-591 (2007)
  • Finding a Ceiling in a Circular Room: Locke v. Davey, Religious Neutrality, and Federalism, 16 Temp. Pol. & Civ. Rts. L. Rev. 103-143 (2006)

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • The Stoics and Legal Conservatives: Strange Bedfellows or Just Strange Fellows?, 30 Law & Phil. 201-251 (2011)
  • Where Do Constitutional Modalities Come From? Complexity Theory and the Emergence of Intradoctrinalism, 3 J. Juris. 191-218 (2009)

Book Chapters

  • The Power to Enforce Equal Protection, in The Powers of The U.S. Congress: Where Its Constitutional Authority Begins and Ends (Brien Hallett, forthcoming in 2016)
  • Judicial Review in International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (Rosann Greenspan & Kay Levine eds., 2014), in collaboration with Joel Grossman

Book Reviews and Encyclopedia Entries

  • Review of The Tragedy of Religious Freedom, by Marc O. DeGirolami, in The Law and Politics Book Review (October 2013)
  • Neutral Principles, in The Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution (David A. Schultz ed., 2008)
  • Virginia Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, in The Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution (David A. Schultz ed., 2008)
  • BMW v. Gore, in The Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution (David A. Schultz ed., 2008)
  • Locke v. Davey, in The Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution (David A. Schultz ed., 2008)
  • Interpreting the Constitution, in The Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution (David A. Schultz ed., 2008), in collaboration with Andre Mura

Pew Forum Articles

  • Churches in Court: The Legal Status of Religious Organizations in Civil Lawsuits (Apr. 2011), in collaboration with Ira C. Lupu, David Masci, and Robert W. Tuttle
  • In Brief: Salazar v. Buono (Sept. 2009)
  • Shifting Boundaries: The Establishment Clause and Government Funding of Religious Schools and Other Faith-Based Organizations (May 2009), in collaboration with Ira C. Lupu, David Masci, and Robert W. Tuttle
  • A Fluid Boundary: The Free Exercise Clause and the Legislative and Executive Branches (Oct. 2008), in collaboration with Ira C. Lupu, David Masci, and Robert W. Tuttle
  • In Brief: Pleasant Grove City v. Summum (Oct. 2008)
  • On Ceremonial Occasions, May the Government Invoke a Deity? (Aug. 2008)
  • In Brief: Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation (Jun. 2008)
  • Courts Not Silent on Moments of Silence (Apr. 2008)

 

Teaching Approach:

I strive to make every lesson have a real-life practical value that is clear to all students.  I use various media sources, such as newspaper articles and oral argument audio files, to develop this connection between the theoretical issues underlying law and the practical consequences of legal decisions.  In class I stress the importance of careful, clear, and fair reasoning.  I want students to scrutinize their judgments and to provide strong reasons for whatever arguments they make, a process that I believe strengthens their analytical skills as well as promotes their development as legal and political thinkers.  Through this experience, I hope to show students how many legal and political issues are not clear-cut matters of right and wrong; nor are they entirely matters of individual preference.  We often tend to err in dichotomizing legal studies – as though law is either entirely objective, so that all we need to learn is what case was decided when, or entirely subjective, so that whatever we think is right as a moral or political matter is what the law means in a given instance.  In my teaching, as well as in my scholarship, I seek to show that law is a combination of logic and politics, somewhere between absolute objectivity and subjectivity.