James Dwyer

James Dwyer

Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law
Degrees: Ph.D., Stanford University; J.D., Yale Law School; B.A., Boston College
Email: [[jgdwye]]
Office phone: (757) 221-2685
Office location: Room 243
Full resume: here (.pdf in new window)
Areas of Specialization

Family Law; Children and the Law; Trusts & Estates; International Law; Adoption Law; Education Law; Philosophy of Law; Constitutional Law--14th Amendment; Constitutional Law--1st Amendment (Religion)

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Joined the faculty in 2000 after teaching law at the Chicago-Kent and University of Wyoming law schools. Practiced law with Sutherland, Asbill, and Brennan; and Coudert Brothers; both in Washington, D.C., and worked in New York State Family Court as Law Guardian. Teaches family law, youth law, trusts and estates, and law and social justice. Selected for the Class of 2010 Professorship and three times for the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence. Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, Fall 2019.

Scholarly Publications
  • International Migration of Children: Human Rights, State Power, and Nations' Duties (Oxford U. Press, forthcoming 2024).
  • Oxford Handbook of Children and the Law (Oxford U. Press 2020). Online.
  • Homeschooling: The History and Philosophy of a Controversial Practice (U. of Chicago Press 2019) (with Shawn F. Peters). Online.
  • Liberal Child Welfare Policy and its Destruction of Black Lives (Routledge 2018). Online.
  • Family Law: Theoretical, Comparative, and Social Science Perspectives (Aspen 2012).
  • Moral Status and Human Life: The Case for Children's Superiority (Cambridge U. Press 2011). SSRN.
  • The Relationship Rights of Children (Cambridge U. Press 2006). SSRN.
  • Vouchers Within Reason: A Child-Centered Approach to Education Reform (Cornell U. Press 2002). SSRN.
  • Religious Schools v. Children's Rights (Cornell U. Press 1998) (paperback edition with new Preface 2001). SSRN.
Articles and Book Chapters
  • The Real Wrongs of ICWA, 69 Villanova L. Rev. 1 (2024).
  • Faux Advocacy in Amicus Practice, 50 Pepperdine Law Review 633 (2023). SSRN.
  • Smith’s Last Stand? Free Exercise and Foster Care Exceptionalism, 24 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 856 (2022).
  • The Most Dangerous Branch of Science? Reining in Rogue Research and Reckless Experimentation in Social Services, 87 Mo. L. Rev. 1 (2022). SSRN.
  • Clarifying Questions About the Nature of Rights, 12 Jurisprudence 47 (2021) (peer reviewed). Online.
  • Deflating Parental Rights, 40 Law & Philosophy 387 (2021) (peer reviewed). Online.
  • Forever Owned: Children as Possessions in the CRC, in Global Reflections on Children's Rights and the Law (Pamela Laufer-Ukeles and Ellen Marrus, Routledge 2021). Online.
  • Screening Potential Parents, in The Oxford Handbook of Children and the Law (James G. Dwyer ed., Oxford U. Press 2020).
  • The Easiest Accommodation: Abandoning Other People’s Children to Their Parents’ Religion, 193 in The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law (Robin Fretwell Wilson, ed., Cambridge U. Press 2018).
  • Regulating Child Rearing in a Culturally Diverse Society, in Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law (Elizabeth Brake and Lucinda Ferguson eds., Oxford U. Press 2017).
  • Religious Schooling and Homeschooling Before and After Hobby Lobby, 2016 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1393 (symposium).
  • Diagnosing and Dispelling Denialism Regarding Children, in Denialism and Human Rights (Willems et al. eds., 2015).
  • Same-Sex Cynicism and the Self-Defeating Pursuit of Social Acceptance Through Litigation, 68 SMU L. Rev. 1 (2015). SSRN.
  • A Child-Centered View of Foster Parenting by Same-Sex Couples, Jurist (Dec. 2015). Online.
  • Inter-country Adoption and the Special Rights Fallacy, 35 U. Pa. J. Int'l L. 189 (2014). SSRN.
  • Jailing Black Babies, 2014 Utah L. Rev. 465 (2014). SSRN.
  • Moral Foundation of Children's Relational Rights, in Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy (Robert George & John Eekelaar eds. 2014).
  • The Ever-Shrinking Case for a Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage, Jurist (Feb. 2014). Online.
  • Promising Protection: 911 Call Records as Foundation for Family Violence Intervention, 102 Ky. L.J. 49 (2014) (with Linda L. Bryant). SSRN.
  • Who Decides?, in The Nature of Children's Well-Being: Theory and Practice (Colin Macleod & Alexander Bagattini eds., Springer 2013).
  • Misused Concepts and Misguided Questions: Fundamental Confusions in Family Law Debates, 4 Int'l J. Jur. Fam. 239 (2013) (peer reviewed). SSRN.
  • Equality Between Adults and Children: Its Meaning, Implications, and Opposition, 2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 1007 (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl: Erasing the Last Vestiges of Human Property, 93 B.U. L. Rev. Annex 51 (2013). SSRN.
  • No Accounting for School Vouchers, 48 Wake Forest L. Rev. 361 (2013) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Parents' Self-Determination and Children's Custody: A New Analytical Framework for State Structuring of Children's Family Life, 54 Ariz. L. Rev. 79 (2012). SSRN.
  • The Parental Choice Fallacy in Education Reform Debates, 87 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1837 (2012) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • No Place For Children: Addressing Urban Blight and its Impact on Children Through Child Protection Law, Domestic Relations Law, and "Adult-only" Residential Zoning, 62 Ala. L. Rev. 887 (2011). SSRN.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Employment Division v. Smith for Family Law, 32 Cardozo L. Rev. 1781 (2011) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Parental Entitlement and Corporal Punishment, 73 Law & Contemp. Probs. 189 (2010). SSRN.
  • A Constitutional Birthright: The State, Parentage, and Newborn Persons, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 755 (2009). SSRN.
  • First Parents: Reconceptualizing Newborn Adoption, 37 Cap. U. L. Rev. 293 (2009) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • The Child Protection Pretense: States' Continued Consignment of Newborn Babies to Unfit Parents, 93 Minn. L. Rev. 407 (2008). SSRN.
  • A Child-Centered Approach to Parentage Law, 14 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 843 (2006) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Children's Education Rights in a Liberal Democracy, 185 in Padagogische Modernisierung: Sakularitat und Sakralitat in der Modernen Padogigik (Hoffmann, Jacottet, & Osterwalder eds., Haupt Bern 2006).
  • The Liberal State's Response to Religious Visions of Education, 44 J. Cath. Legal Stud. 195 (2005) (response to commentaries on my work). SSRN.
  • School Accountability and "High Stakes Testing," 2 Theory & Res. Ed. 211 (2004). SSRN.
  • A Taxonomy of Children's Existing Rights in State Decision Making About Their Relationships, 11 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 845 (2003) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Children's Rights, 443 in The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Education (Blackwell Pub. 2003).
  • Funding Religion in a Post-Zelman World, 5(1) Gov't L. & Pol'y J. 11 (2003) (essay).
  • 13 The School Field 7, reviewing Randall Curren, Aristotle on the Necessity of Public Education, Rowan & Littlefield Publishing, Inc. 2000 (book review).
  • Changing the Conversation About Children's Education, 314 in NOMOS XLIII: Moral and Political Education (NYU Press 2002).
  • School Vouchers: Inviting the Public Into the Religious Square, 42 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 963 (2001) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Informed Consent for Neonatal Circumcision: An Ethical and Legal Conundrum, 17 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol'y 61 (2000) (with J. Steven Svoboda & Robert S. Van Howe). SSRN.
  • Spiritual Treatment Exemptions to Child Medical Neglect Laws: What We Outsiders Should Think, 76 Notre Dame L. Rev. 147 (2000) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Children's Interests in a Family Context -- A Cautionary Note, 39 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1053 (1999) (symposium article).
  • Setting Standards for Parenting -- By What Right?, 27 Child Psychiatry & Hum. Dev. 165 (1997).
  • The Children We Abandon: Religious Exemptions to Child Welfare and Education Law as Denials of Equal Protection to Children of Religious Objectors, 74 N.C. L. Rev. 1321 (1996). SSRN.
  • Parents' Religion and Children's Welfare: Debunking the Doctrine of Parents' Rights, 82 Cal. L. Rev. 1371 (1994). SSRN.
  • Amicus Brief, En Banc Brief for TA.L. et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, In re TA.L., 149 A.3d 1060 (D.C. 2016) (No. 994052). Online.
  • Amicus Brief, Brief for Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, State v. Crank, 468 S.W.3d 15 (Tenn. 2015) (No. 10611 A & B). Online.
  • Amicus Brief, Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Workman v. Mingo Cty. Bd. of Educ., 2011 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs (No. 11 380), LEXIS 1544.
  • Amicus Brief, Brief for Baby Girl C., Stacey D. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondent, In re Baby Girl C. v. Benjamin, Cal. Ct. App. (2010) (No. G043887), 2010 WL 5650166.
  • Amicus Brief, Brief for Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, Inc. et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Workman v. Mingo Cty. Board of Educ., 4th Cir. Ct. App. (2010) (No. 09-2352), 2010 WL 2147829. Online.
  • Amicus Brief, Brief for Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, Inc. et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Douglas Cty. v. Josue, Sup. Ct. of Neb. (2005) (No. S-03-1446), 2005 WL 5956609. Online.
  • Amicus Brief, Amicus-Child, Commonwealth v. Nixon, 745 A.2d 1220 (Pa. 1999). Online.

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