George Rutherglen

  • Distinguished Professor of Law
  • Earle K. Shawe Professor of Employment Law

George Rutherglen joined Virginia's law faculty in 1976. He teaches admiralty, civil procedure, employment discrimination and professional responsibility.

While he was a student at law school, Rutherglen was articles editor of the California Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduation, he clerked for Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Diego, and Justices William O. Douglas and John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rutherglen has chaired the advisory committee on Fourth Circuit Rules and served as director of the Graduate Program for Judges at the Law School. He has written widely on employment discrimination, civil rights and admiralty.

Scholarship Profile: Connecting Civil Rights and Civil Procedure (Virginia Journal 2006)


  • J.D.
    University of California at Berkeley School of Law
  • A.B.
    University of California at Berkeley

Working Papers:

"Disaggregated Discrimination: Implications of the Expansion of Title VII" SSRN

"The Rights of Aliens Under the United States Constitution: At the Border and Beyond"


Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory (with John J. Donohue, III) (Foundation Press, 4th ed. 2018).

Employment Discrimination Law: Visions of Equality in Theory and Doctrine (Foundation Press, 4th ed. 2017). 

Transnational Civil Litigation: Principles and Prospects (Foundation Press, 2016).

Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (with John C. Jeffries, Jr., Pamela S. Karlan, and Peter W. Low) (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2013).

Civil Rights in the Shadow of Slavery: The Constitution, Common Law, and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Transnational Civil Litigation (with Joachim Zekoll and Michael G. Collins) (West, 2013).

Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory (with John J. Donohue, III) (Foundation Press Thomson West, 3d ed. 2012).

Major Issues in the Federal Law of Employment Discrimination (Federal Judicial Center, 5th ed. 2012).

Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution, 2011 Supplement (with John C. Jeffries, Jr., Pamela S. Karlan, and Peter W. Low) (Foundation Press, 2011).

Employment Discrimination, Law and Theory, 2011 Supplement (with John J. Donohue III) (Foundation Press, 2011).

Employment Discrimination Law: Visions of Equality in Theory and Doctrine (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2010).

Employment Discrimination: Law and Theory (with John J. Donohue, III) (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 2009).

Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (with John C. Jeffries, Jr., Pamela S. Karlan & Peter W. Low) (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 2007).

Employment Discrimination Law: Visions of Equality in Theory and Doctrine (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 2007).

Employment Discrimination: Law, Theory, and Evidence (with John J. Donohue III) (Foundation Press 2005).

Employment Discrimination Law: Visions of Equality in Theory and Doctrine (Foundation Press, 2001).

Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (with John C. Jeffries Jr., Pamela S. Karlan & Peter W. Low) (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2000). 

Major Issues in the Federal Law of Employment Discrimination (Federal Judicial Center, 1983; 2d ed. 1987; 3d ed. 1996). 

The United States Courts of Appeals: Reexamining Structure and Process after a Century of Growth (consultant). 51 pp. (American Bar Association Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements, 1989). 

Major Issues in the Federal Law of Employment Discrimination: Supplement 2 and Table of Authorities, 62 pp. (Federal Judicial Center, 1985). 

Major Issues in the Federal Law of Employment Discrimination: Supplement 1 and Table of Authorities, 70 pp. (Federal Judicial Center, 1985). 

Book Chapters:

“The Origins of Arguments over Reverse Discrimination: Lessons from the Civil Rights Act of 1866,” in Christian G. Samito, ed., The Greatest and the Grandest Act: The Civil Rights Act of 1866 from Reconstruction to Today 209 (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018).

“Civil Rights Act,” in Robert S. Rycroft, ed., 1 The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty 369 (Grenwood, 2017).

“Thirteenth Amendment,” in Stephen L. Schechter, ed., 5 American Governance 189 (Macmillan Reference USA, 2016). 

“‘The Great Task Remaining Before Us’: Lincoln and Reconstruction,” in Sean Conant, ed., The Gettysburg Address: Perspectives on Lincoln’s Greatest Speech 191 (Oxford University Press, 2015).

“Sovereignty, Territoriality, and the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments” (with James Y. Stern), in Paul B. Stephan, ed., Foreign Court Judgments and the United States Legal System 13 (Brill Nijhoff, 2014).

“Concrete or Abstract Conceptions of Discrimination,” in Deborah Hellman & Sophia Moreau, eds., Philosophical Foundations of Discrimination Law 115 (Oxford University Press, 2013).

"The Badges of Incidents of Slavery and the Power of Congress to Enforce the Thirteenth Amendment," in Alexander Tsesis, ed., The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment 163 (Columbia University Press, 2010).

"Civil Rights in Private Schools: The Surprising Story of Runyon v. McCrary", in Myriam E. Gilles & Risa L. Goluboff eds., Civil Rights Stories (Foundation Press, 2008).

"Affirmative Action in Faculty Appointments: A Guide for the Perplexed," in C. Wolf-Devine, ed., Diversity and Community in the Academy (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997).

"Claims of Employment Discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," in D.H. Kaye & Mikel Aickin, eds., Statistical Methods in Discrimination Litigation 33 (Marcel Dekker, 1986). 


“Universal Injunctions: Why Not Follow the Rule?”

“A Choice by Any Other Name: Ad Hoc Substitutes for Choice of Law”

“Self-Portrait in a Complex Mirror: Reflections on The Making of a Justice: My First Ninety-Four Years by John Paul Stevens,” Va. L. Rev. (forthcoming).

"Territoriality and Its Troubles"

"Reconstruction in Legal Theory"

“The Rule of Recognition in Reconstruction: A Review of Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis, by Cynthia Nicoletti,” 103 Va. L. Rev. 72 (2017).
HeinOnline (PDF)

“What Happened to the Framers of the Federal Rules? Generational Change and the Transformation of the Rulemaking Process,” 42 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 193 (2017).

“The Rights of Aliens Under the United States Constitution: At the Border and Beyond,” Va. J. Int'l L. (forthcoming 2016).

The Constitution and Slavery Overseas,” 39 Seattle U. L. Rev. 695 (2016).
HeinOnline (PDF)

Fisher II: Whose Burden, What Proof?,” 20 Green Bag 2d 19 (2016).

"Personal Jurisdiction and Political Authority," 32 J.L. & Pol. 1 (2016).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

“Private Rights and Private Actions: The Legacy of Civil Rights in the Enforcement of Title VII,95 B.U. L. Rev. 733 (2015).
HeinOnline (PDF)

“Title VII as Precedent: Past and Prologue for Future Legislation,” 10 Stan. J.C.R. & C.L.159 (2014).

“Constitutionalizing Employees’ Rights: Lessons from the History of the Thirteenth Amendment,” 27 Wis. J.L. Gender & Soc’y 162 (2012).
HeinOnline (PDF)

“The Thirteenth Amendment, the Power of Congress, and the Shifting Sources of Civil Rights Law,” 112 Colum. L. Rev. 1551 (2012).

"Wal-Mart, AT&T Mobility, and the Decline of the Deterrent Class Action,” 98 Va. L. Rev. In Brief 24 (2012).

"Concrete or Abstract Conceptions of Discrimination?," Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2012-58.

“The Way Forward After Wal-Mart,” 88 Notre Dame L. Rev. 871 (2012).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Ricci v. DeStefano: Affirmative Action and the Lessons of Adversity," 2009 Sup. Ct. Rev. 83 

"Textual Corruption in the Civil Rights Cases," 34 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 164 (2009).

"Public Employee Speech in Remedial Perspective," 24 J.L. & Pol. 129 (2008).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"State Action, Private Action, and the Thirteenth Amendment," 94 Va. L. Rev. 1367 (2008).
HeinOnline (PDF)

“Structural Reform Revisited” (with John C. Jeffries, Jr.), 95 Cal. L. Rev. 1387 (2007).
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“Deforming the Federal Rules: An Essay on What’s Wrong with the Recent Erie Decisions” (with Earl C. Dudley, Jr.), 92 Va. L. Rev. 707 (2006).

“Disparate Impact, Discrimination, and the Essentially Contested Concept of Equality,” 74Fordham L. Rev. 2313 (2006).
HeinOnline (PDF)

“Lawyer for the Organization: An Essay on Legal Ethics,” 1 Va. L. & Bus. Rev. 141 (2006).
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“Private Law and Public Reason,” 92 Va. L. Rev. 1503 (2006).
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"Controversy, Consensus, and the Concept of Discrimination," 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 1021 (2005).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Distributing Justice: The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the Legacy of the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust," 12 Va. J. Soc. Poly & L. 673 (2005).
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“Custom and Usage as Action under Color of State Law: An Essay on the Forgotten Terms of Section 1983,” 89 Va. L. Rev. 923 (2003).
HeinOnline (PDF)

“The Improbable History of Section 1981: Clio Still Bemused and Confused,” 2003 Sup. Ct. Rev. 303.
HeinOnline (PDF)

“Using Civil Procedure to Teach Practical Skills: Teaching Procedure Past and Prologue,” 47 St. Louis U. L.J. 13 (2003).
HeinOnline (PDF)

“Future Claims in Mass Tort Cases: Deterrence, Compensation, and Necessity,” 88 Va. L. Rev. 1989 (2002).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Structural Uncertainty Over Habeas Corpus and the Jurisdiction of Military Tribunals," 5Green Bag 2d 397 (2002).

"International Shoe and the Legacy of Legal Realism," Sup. Ct. Rev. 347 (2001).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Sovereign Immunity in Admiralty," 31 J. Mar. L. & Comm. 317 (2000). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Dead Ships," 30 J. Mar. L. & Comm. 677 (1999). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Ironies, Inconsistencies, and Intercollegiate Athletics: Title IX, Title VII, and Statistical Evidence of Discrimination" (with Earl C. Dudley Jr.), 1 Va. J. Sports & L. 177 (1999).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"A Farewell to Tournaments? The Need for an Alternative Explanation of Law Firm Structure and Growth" (with Kevin Kordana), 84 Va. L. Rev. 1695 (1998). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"The Influence of Feminism on American Law: The Case of Employment Discrimination, America Ho," Japanese J. Am. L. (1998). 

"Pleasure Boating and Admiralty: Increasing Conformity and Decreasing Significance," 29J. Mar. L. & Comm. 305 (1998). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Better Late than Never: Notice and Opt Out at the Settlement Stage of Class Actions," 71N.Y.U. L. Rev. 258 (1996). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Disabilities, Discrimination, and Reasonable Accommodation" (with Pamela S. Karlan), 46 Duke L. J. (1996). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"The Federal Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Cases: A Verdict of Quiescent Years," 27 J. Mar. L. & Com. 581 (1996). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Discrimination and Its Discontents," 81 Va. L. Rev. 117 (1995). 
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"From Race to Age: The Expanding Scope of Employment Discrimination Law," 24 J. Legal Stud. 491 (1995). 
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"Sexual Harassment: Ideology or Law?" 18 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 487 (1995). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"John McCoid: Colleague and Friend," 80 Va. L. Rev. 1203 (1994). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Friendly Adversaries" (reviewing Ball & Cooper, Of Power and Right), Judicature, July 1993, at 49-50. 

"Not with a Bang But with a Whimper: Collisions, Comparative Fault, and the Rule of The Pennsylvania," 67 Tul. L. Rev. 733 (1993). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Reconsidering Burdens of Proof: Ideology, Evidence, and Intent in Individual Claims of Employment Discrimination," 1 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 43 (1993). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Reconstructing Erie: A Comment on the Perils of Legal Positivism," 10 Const. Comment.285 (1993). 

"The Theory of Comparable Worth as a Remedy for Discrimination," 82 Geo. L. J. 135 (1993). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"After Affirmative Action: Conditions and Consequences of Ending Preferences in Employment," 1992 U. Ill. L. Rev. 339. 
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"Dilemmas and Disclosures: A Comment on Client Perjury," 18 Am. J. Crim. L. 267 (1992).
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"Admiralty and Bankruptcy Revisited: Effects of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978," 65Tul. L. Rev. 503 (1991). 
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"Legal Issues Raised by Policy" (with Earl Dudley), U. J., Feb. 18, 1991, at 3. 

"Tribute: Retirement of Sanford Kadish," 79 Cal. L. Rev. 1413 (1991). 
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"The Contemporary Justification for Maritime Arrest and Attachment," 30 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 541 (1989). 
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"Legal Education: The Artificial Reason of the Law," Va. L. Sch. Rep., Fall 1989, at 11-12. 

"Affirmative Action Under the Constitution and Title VII: From Confusion to Convergence" (with Daniel R. Ortiz), 35 UCLA L. Rev. 467 (1988). 
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Affirmative Action: Confusion, Compromise, or Consensus?" (with Daniel Ortiz), Va. L. Sch. Rep., Winter 1987, at 17-21. 

"Disparate Impact under Title VII: An Objective Theory of Discrimination," 73 Va. L. Rev.1297 (1987). 
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"Procedures and Preferences: Remedies for Employment Discrimination," 5 Rev. Litig. 73 (1986). 
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"Notice, Scope, and Preclusion in Title VII Class Actions," 69 Va. L. Rev. 11 (1983). 
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"Conflicts of Law and Morality—the Relevance of Moral Reasoning," 67 Va. L. Rev. 237 (1981). 
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"Title VII Class Actions," 47 U. Chi. L. Rev. 688 (1980). 
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"Sexual Equality in Fringe-Benefit Plans," 65 Va. L. Rev. 199 (1979). 
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Book Reviews:

"Book Review, 28 Law & Hist. Rev. 887 (2010) (reviewing Alexander Tsesis, We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and Law (2008)).
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"Abolition in a Different Voice," 78 Va. L. Rev. 1463 (1992) (reviewing Epstein, Forbidden Grounds). 
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"Legal Theory and the Common Law," 76 Va. L. Rev. 1441 (1990) (reviewing Eisenberg,The Nature of the Common Law). 
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"Theories of Free Speech," 7 Oxford J. Legal Stud. 115 (1987) (reviewing Barendt,Freedom of Speech).

Current Courses

All Courses

Employment Discrimination
Institute for Practical Ethics Co-Sponsored Seminars
Professional Responsibility
Sex Discrimination
Seminar in Ethical Values




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