David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1973
B.A., Yale University, 1970
John Jeffries joined the Virginia law faculty two years after earning his law degree in 1973. His primary research and teaching interests are civil rights, federal courts, criminal law and constitutional law. Jeffries has co-authored casebooks in civil rights, federal courts and criminal law and has published a variety of articles in those fields. He also wrote a biography of Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
In 1986, Jeffries was appointed the inaugural Emerson Spies Professor of Law, a position created to honor a long-time teacher and former dean. Jeffries has also held a variety of other academic appointments, including the Arnold H. Leon Professorship. He served as academic associate dean from 1994 to 1999. In the fall semester of 1999, he was acting dean during the sabbatical of Dean Robert Scott. He became dean in the fall of 2001 and served until June 2008.
During law school, Jeffries served as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Review. He received the Z Award for the highest academic average and the Woods Prize for the outstanding graduate. Immediately after graduation, he clerked for Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., before serving in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.
Scholarship Profile: A Central Figure at Virginia Law (Virginia Journal 2014).
Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution, (with Pamela S. Karlan, Peter W. Low, and George A. Rutherglen) (Foundation Press, 2000; 2d ed. 2007, 3d ed. 2013) (with annual supplements).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Peter W. Low and Curtis A. Bradley) (Foundation Press, 7th ed. 2011) (with annual supplements).
Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (with Richard J. Bonnie, Anne M. Coughlin, and Peter W. Low) (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2010).
Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (with Peter W. Low) (Foundation Press, 1987; 2d ed. 1989; 3d ed. 1994; 4th. ed. 1998; 5th ed. 2004; 6th ed. 2008) (with annual supplements).
Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994; Fordham University Press, 2001 [paperback edition]).
Civil Rights Actions: Section 1983 and Related Statutes (with Peter W. Low) (Foundation Press, 1988; 2d ed. 1994) (with annual supplements).
The Trial of John W. Hinckley, Jr.: A Case Study in the Insanity Defense (with Peter W. Low & Richard J. Bonnie) (Foundation Press, 1986; 2d ed. 2000).
Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (with Peter W. Low & Richard J. Bonnie) (Foundation Press, 1982; 2d ed. 1986).
Model Penal Code and Commentaries: Part II (with Peter W. Low), 3 vols. (American Law Institute, 1980).
"The Liability Rule for Constitutional Torts," 99 Va. L. Rev. 207 (2013).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"What's Wrong with Qualified Immunity?" 62 Fla. L. Rev. 851 (2010).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"Reversing the Order of Battle in Constitutional Torts," 2009 Sup. Ct. Rev. 115 (2010).
“Structural Reform Revisited” (with George A. Rutherglen), 95 Cal. L. Rev. 1387 (2007).
“Tribute to Justice Antonin Scalia,” 62 N.Y.U. Ann. Surv. Am. L. 11 (2006).
"Training Business Lawyers," 1 Va. L. & Bus. Rev. 6 (2006).
“Bakke Revisited,” 2003 Sup. Ct. Rev. 1 (2004).
"A Political History of the Establishment Clause" (with James E. Ryan), 100 Mich. L. Rev. 279 (2001).
"Disaggregating Constitutional Torts," 110 Yale L.J. 259 (2000).
"The Right-Remedy Gap in Constitutional Law," 109 Yale L.J. 87 (1999).
"Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and the Art of Judicial Selection," 112 Harv. L. Rev. 597 (1999).
"The Athlete as Judge: Review of The Man Who Once Was Whizzer White," 66 U. Chi. L. Rev. 495 (1999).
"The Non-Retrogression Principle in Constitutional Law" (with Daryl Levinson), 86 Cal. L. Rev. 1211 (1998).
SSRN Abstract | HeinOnline (PDF)
"In Praise of the Eleventh Amendment and Section 1983," 84 Va. L. Rev. 47 (1998).
"The Federalization of Organized Crime: Advantages of Federal Prosecution" (with John Gleeson), 46 Hastings L.J. 1095 (1995).
"Ineffective Assistance and Procedural Default in Habeas Corpus," (with William J. Stuntz) 57 U. Chi. L. Rev. 679 (1990).
"Compensation for Constitutional Torts: Reflections on the Significance of Fault," 88 Mich. L. Rev. 82 (1989).
"Damages for Constitutional Violations: The Relation of Risk to Injury in Constitutional Torts," 75 Va. L. Rev. 1461 (1989).
"Punitive Damages and the Rule of Law: The Role of Defendant's Wealth" (with Kenneth S. Abraham), 18 J. Legal Stud. 415 (1989).
"A Comment on the Constitutionality of Punitive Damages," 72 Va. L. Rev. 139 (1986).
"Legality, Vagueness, and the Construction of Penal Statutes," 71 Va. L. Rev. 189 (1985).
"Rethinking Prior Restraint," 92 Yale L.J. 409 (1983).
"Defenses, Presumptions, and Burden of Proof in the Criminal Law" (with Paul B. Stephan III), 88 Yale L.J. 1325 (1979).
"Commercial Speech: Economic Due Process and the First Amendment" (with Thomas H. Jackson), 65 Va. L. Rev. 1 (1979).
"DICTA: Constitutionalizing the Criminal Law?" (with Peter W. Low), 29 Va. L. Wkly., No. 18 (1977).
"Equitable Adoption: They Took Him Into Their Home and Called Him Fred," 58 Va. L. Rev. 727 (1972).
- Civil Rights Litigation
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Seminar in Ethical Values
In the Media
- "Former Assistant Dean of UVA Law School Chosen as Chief Justice of Va. Supreme Court" (The Daily Progress, 08/18/2014)
- "Ted Olson: Va. gay marriage ban ‘flatly unconstitutional’" (Washington Blade, 04/12/2014)
- "John C. Jeffries Jr. on Crime and Punishment in America" (PRX, 08/13/2013)
- "Analysis: U.S. Court Takes Small Step to Bridge Ideological Divide" (Reuters, 06/24/2013)
- "Justices' Gay Clerks Provide Evidence of Change" (The Boston Globe, 06/09/2013)
- "Exhibit A for a Major Shift: Justices' Gay Clerks" (The New York Times, 06/08/2013)
- "Court May Limit Use of Race in College Admissions Decisions" (Reuters, 04/28/2013)
- "High Court Squashed Regional School Merger" (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 03/11/2013)
- Jerry Smith’s Obama Rebuke Questioned by Legal Experts (Yahoo! News, 04/04/2012)
- "Challenges to Health Care Law Get Appellate Hearing Tuesday" (USA Today, 05/06/2011)
- "Justice Unbound" (The New York Times, 12/02/2010)
- "Uncertainty for High Court in Wake of Ginsburg Health News" (Legal Times, 02/09/2009)
- "Dean's List: Jeffries Looks Forward to Teaching" (The Hook, 01/03/2008)
- "Questions for Obama" (Washington Post, 09/30/2007)
- "UC Irvine Aborts Hiring Chemerinsky as Law School Dean" (Los Angeles Times, 09/13/2007)
- "Calif. Law School Dumps Chemerinsky as Founding Dean" (Law.com, 09/13/2007)
- "State Briefs: News Near You" (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 09/07/2007)
- "UVA Dean to Step Down/Jeffries to Go Back to Teaching Following Sabbatical" (Charlottesville Daily Progress, 09/06/2007)
- "The UVA Law School Celebrates a Banner Year for Gifts" (WINA 1070 AM, 07/31/2007)
- "Bad Heir Day/How Sandra Day O'Connor Became the Least Powerful Jurist in America" (Slate, 07/09/2007)
- "National War Powers Commission, Checkpoint Charlie Memorial, Jewish Film Festival..." (Metro NC, 05/02/2007)
- "Duke Law School Names New Dean/David Levi Now Is Chief U.S. District Judge in California" ((Durham) NC Herald-Sun, 01/04/2007)
- "A Fair Argument" (Lynchburg News & Advance. , 03/19/2006)
- "Politics Colors Confirmation/Nominee Gets Ready for Intense Grilling by Democrats" (The Houston Chronicle , 09/11/2005)
- "The Rehnquist Legacy: 33 Years Turning Back the Court/Chief Justice Came to Recognize Limits On His Power to Fight Liberal Drift" (The Washington Post, 09/05/2005)
- "Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies" (The Washington Post/Canton (Ohio) Repository, 09/04/2005)
- "Judging Roberts; He's Conservative, But Apolitical; Confident, Not Cocky" (Newsweek, 08/01/2005)
- "Incremental Change on the Court/Bottoms Up" (The New Republic, 07/21/2005)
- "Counter Evolution" (The New Republic, 07/05/2005)
- "In List of Potential Justices, Many Kinds of Conservative" (The New York Times , 07/02/2005)
- "The Court's First Woman Often Had the Final Say" (The Houston Chronicle, 07/02/2005)
- "Law Educators Speak about O'Connor Legacy" (The Virginian-Pilot, 07/02/2005)
- "Supreme Court Actions Seen Curbing Bush Agenda" (NPR "Morning Edition", 07/05/2004)
- "Star Power: Top Law Professors Are a Hot Commodity, and Schools Are Scrambling to Keep Them" (National Law Journal, 06/14/2004)
- "Supreme Court Turnover Likely/The Next President May Fill Several Vacancies, Experts Say" (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 04/24/2004)
- "Virginia Tech's Top 30 Ambitions Hurt—School Slides Again in Rankings" (Roanoke Times & World News, 04/02/2004)
- "Papers of Roe-Wade Author to Be Released" (The Los Angeles Times, 02/29/2004)
- "Analysis: Justices Wrap Up Term with Major Rulings" (NPR, "Morning Edition", 07/03/2003)
- "Court's Ruling Bows to History; O'Connor's View Resembles Powell's in Bakke Case" (Detroit News, June 24, 2003) (Detroit News, 06/24/2003)