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Stephen E. Gottlieb

Jay & Ruth Caplan Distinguished Professor of Law, Emeritus, Albany Law School
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About Stephen

Gottlieb’s work focuses on the varying implications of social science, such as gerrymandering, campaign contributions, other areas of election law, and the efficacy of law. He has taught courses on constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, the U.S. Supreme Court, equal protection, election law, as well as the ramifications of the First Amendment in courses related to broadcasting, the internet, and privacy. He has participated on multi-disciplinary panels at many professional associations of political scientists, and represented political scientists as amicus curiae at all levels of the federal court system. Furthermore, Gottlieb has written two critical books and many articles on the Court, where he has compared the different forms of liberalism and conservatism expressed by each of the justices, as well as showed how those values drove their decisions, and evaluated the work of the Court against scientific findings of why democracies fall apart. Alongside his wife, Gottlieb has worked closely with a variety of formal and informal groups of Muslim Americans and refugees, such as the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Northeastern New York (RPCV-NENY) and the Peace Corps Iran Association. 


How the Roberts Court Undermines U.S. Democracy

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Guest to discuss calling a constitutional convention for the State of New York on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Stephen E. Gottlieb, October 31, 2017.
"Should We Have a New National Constitutional Convention?," Stephen E. Gottlieb, Northeast Public Radio, July 11, 2017.
"What’s to Blame for Our Divided Nation? The Cause Can Also be the Cure," Stephen E. Gottlieb, The Hill, May 10, 2017.
Regular contributions by Stephen E. Gottlieb to WAMC/Northeast Public Radio.
"WAMC’s Alan Chartock in Conversation with Stephen Gottlieb," Stephen E. Gottlieb, Interview with Alan Chartock, WAMC's In Conversation, February 26, 2016.
Guest to discuss his book, “Morality Imposed: The Rehnquist Court” on America and the Courts, Stephen E. Gottlieb, October 20, 2001.


Morality Imposed: The Rehnquist Court and Liberty in America (New York University Press, 2000).

Examines and compares the values that underlay the positions of the nine justices of the Rehnquist Court who served from 1994-2005. Explains how those differences made it possible for conservatives, but impossible for liberals to countenance the execution of innocent people, and for conservative willingness to compromise and liberal insistence on protecting democratic government, among many other areas.

"Reformulating the Motive/Effects Debate in Constitutional Adjudication" Wayne Law Review 33, no. 97 (1986).

Looks at the evidence used as proof and reveals that talk about motives in constitutional cases has been a smokescreen for denial of rights. 

Public Values in Constitutional Law (University of Michigan Press, 1993).

Reflects the Court’s claim that some values are important enough to override constitutional protections and requirements. Demonstrates that the same analytic structure that the Court uses to diminish rights also implies a fundamental right to a safety net for the homeless and other vulnerable members of society.

Unfit for Democracy: The Roberts Court and the Breakdown of American Politics (New York University Press, 2016).

Compares the work of the Roberts Court with the political science of why democracies fall apart. Demonstrates that the Roberts Court has been a major facilitator of the breakdown of democracy in America.

"In the Name of Patriotism: The Constitutionality of ‘Bending’ History in Public Secondary Schools" The History Teacher 22, no. 411 (1989).

Describes and critiques the way schools teach fables as history. Explains how this results in battles for control over school content that displace using the educational process to prepare students to use their heads. Proposes a legal check on that process.