Richard C. Schragger

  • Perre Bowen Professor of Law
  • Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law
  • Senior Fellow, Miller Center

Rich Schragger joined the Virginia faculty in 2001 and was named the Perre Bowen Professor in 2013. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of constitutional law and local government law, federalism, urban policy, and the constitutional and economic status of cities. He also writes about law and religion. He has authored articles on the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses, the role of cities in a federal system, local recognition of same-sex marriage, takings law and economic development, and the history of the anti-chain store movement. Schragger has published in the Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Virginia and Michigan law reviews, among others. He teaches property, local government law, urban law and policy, and church and state.

Schragger received an M.A. in legal theory from University College London and received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He was a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. After clerking for Dolores Sloviter, then-chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Schragger joined the Washington, D.C., firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, where he practiced for two years.

Schragger has been a visiting professor at the University of Münster, Tel Aviv University, the University of Chicago School of Law, the New York University School of Law, the Georgetown University Law Center and the Quinnipiac School of Law, and has been the Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School. He is a faculty fellow at the Miller Center, a faculty adviser to the Local Solutions Support Center, and a member of the American Law Institute. He is the author of City Power: Urban Governance in a Global Age (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Scholarship Profile: Examining Cities, Constitutions, and the Connections Between Them (Virginia Journal 2009)

Education

  • J.D.
    Harvard Law School
    1996
  • M.A.
    University College London
    1993
  • B.A.
    University of Pennsylvania

Forthcoming

The City in the Future of Federalism, Oxford University Press (2022).
The Failure of Home Rule Reform in Virginia: Race, Localism, and the Constitution of 1971 (with C. Alex Retzloff), in Essays on the Constitution of Virginia, University of Virginia Press (2021).

Books

City Power: Urban Governance in a Global Age, Oxford University Press (2016).

Book Chapters

Obama’s Court? (with Risa Goluboff), in The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment, Princeton University Press, 78 (2018).
When Do Religious Accommodations Burden Others? (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), in The Conscience Wars: Rethinking the Balance between Religion, Identity, and Equality, Cambridge University Press, 328-346 (2018).
How Much May Religious Accommodations Burden Others (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), in Law, Religion, and Health in the United States, Cambridge University Press, 215-229 (2017).
Some Realism about Corporate Rights (with Micah J. Schwartzman), in The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty, Oxford University Press, 345-371 (2016).
The Progressive City, in Why the Local Matters: Federalism, Localism, and Public Interest Advocacy, Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School and the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, 39-50 (2009).
San Antonio v. Rodriguez and the Legal Geography of School Finance Reform, in Civil Rights Stories, Foundation Press, 85-109 (2008).

Articles & Reviews

What Common Good? (with Micah J. Schwartzman) (reviewing Adrian Vermeule, Common Good Constitutionalism) The American Prospect (2022).
The Perils of Land Use Deregulation, 170 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 125-205 (2021).
Religious Antiliberalism and the First Amendment (with Micah J. Schwartzman), 104 Minnesota Law Review 1341-1428 (2020).
Establishment Clause Inversion in the Bladensburg Cross Case (with Micah J. Schwartzman), 3 American Constitution Society Supreme Court Review 21-58 (2019).
Federalism, Metropolitanism, and the Problem of States, 105 Virginia Law Review 1537-1604 (2019).
Jews, not Pagans (with Micah J. Schwartzman), 56 San Diego Law Review 497-520 (2019).
The Attack on American Cities, 49 Environmental Law Reporter 10761-10766 (2019).
The Attack on American Cities, 49 Environmental Law Report News & Analysis 10761-10766 (2019).
The Attack on American Cities, 96 Texas Law Review 1163-1233 (2018).
The Costs of Conscience (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), 106 Kentucky Law Review 781-812 (2018).
When White Supremacists Invade a City, 104 Virginia Law Review Online 58-73 (2018).
The Political Economy of City Power, 44 Fordham Urban Law Journal 91-132 (2017).
Against Religious Institutionalism (with Micah J. Schwartzman), 99 Virginia Law Review 917-985 (2013).
Lost in Translation: A Dilemma for Freedom of the Church (with Micah J. Schwartzman), 21 Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 15-30 (2013).
Citizens Versus Bondholders, 39 Fordham Urban Law Journal 787-803 (2012).
Democracy and Debt, 121 Yale Law Journal 860-886 (2012).
The Relative Irrelevance of the Establishment Clause, 89 Texas Law Review 583-651 (2011).
Decentralization and Development, 96 Virginia Law Review 1837-1909 (2010).
Rethinking the Theory and Practice of Local Economic Development, 77 University of Chicago Law Review 311-339 (2010).
Cities, Economic Development, and the Free Trade Constitution, 94 Virginia Law Review 1091-1164 (2008).
Cities as Constitutional Actors: The Case of Same-Sex Marriage, 21 Journal of Law & Politics 147-185 (2005).
Consuming Government, 101 Michigan Law Review 1824-1857 (2003).
The Limits of Localism, 100 Michigan Law Review 371-472 (2001).

Reports & Datasets

Civil Rights and Discrimination (with Dilini Lankachandra), 1 Local Power Politics Review 15-23 (2020).
How Cities Can Protect Public Health When States Stand in the Way (with Dilini Lankachandra), The Justice Collaborative Institute (2020).
Principles of Home Rule for the Twenty-First Century (with Scharff. Erin A. et al.) National League of Cities (2020).
Confederate Monuments and Punitive Preemption: The Latest Assault on Local Democracy (with C. Alex Retzloff), Local Solutions Support Center (2019).
The Progressive City, Why the Local Still Matters: Federalism, Localism, and Public Interest Advocacy Papers from the Eleventh Annual Liman Public Interest Program Colloquium (2009).
City Powers Project: Denver, Colorado, Boston Foundation (2005).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Religious Privilege in Fulton and Beyond (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), SCOTUSblog (November 2, 2020).
The Separation of Church and State Is Breaking Down under Trump (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), The Atlantic (June 29, 2020).
Pandemics and Our Faulty Federalism, Richmond Times-Dispatch (June 28, 2020).
The Quiet Demise of the Separation of Church and State (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), New York Times A23 (June 8, 2020).
Churches Have Been Hypocritical During the Pandemic (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Washington Post (May 13, 2020).
Principles of Home Rule for the 21st Century (with Richard Briffault et al.), National League of Cities (2020).
It’s Time for Home Rule in Virginia, Richmond Times-Dispatch 15A (December 19, 2019).
High Stakes in the Charlottesville Monuments Litigation, Richmond Times-Dispatch 11Z (May 10, 2019).
It’s the City’s Right to Remove Confederate Monuments, Richmond Times-Dispatch 9A (March 3, 2019).
The Bladensburg Peace Cross Case Sends the Message That Some Citizens Are Less Valued Than Others (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Washington Post (February 26, 2019).
The Costs of Conscience and the Trump Contraception Rules (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Take Care (March 6, 2018).
Cities on a Hill?: Forum Response, Boston Review (February 14, 2018).
Is Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee Statue Illegal?, Richmond Times-Dispatch (August 30, 2017).
Trump’s Latest Affront to Women, and to the Constitution (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Take Care (June 2, 2017).
Mitch Landrieu and the Anti-Denigration Constitution (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Take Care (May 25, 2017).
The Attack on American Cities, Take Care (April 7, 2017).
How Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration Violates Religious Freedom Laws (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Just Security (January 31, 2017).
Trump Wasn’t Elected as a Culture Warrior. He May Govern as One (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Vox (January 20, 2017).
Trump Wasn’t Elected as a Culture Warrior. He May Govern as One (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Vox (January 20, 2017).
Zubik and the Demands of Justice (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), SCOTUSblog (May 16, 2016).
The Contraception Compromise (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Slate (April 14, 2016).
Flint Wasn’t Allowed Democracy, Slate (February 8, 2016).
Hobby Lobby’s Bitter Anniversary (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (June 30, 2015).
Obergefell and the End of Religious Reasons for Lawmaking (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Religion & Politics (June 29, 2015).
Utah “Compromise” to Protect LGBT Citizens from Discrimination Is No Model for the Nation (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Slate (March 18, 2015).
Holt v. Hobbs and Third Party Harms (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (January 22, 2015).
Update on the Establishment Clause and Third Party Harms: One Ongoing Violation and One Constitutional Accommodation (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (October 17, 2014).
The Evolution of Hobby Lobby: The Arguments that Matter and How They Were Developed (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Cornerstone (June 12, 2014).
Town of Greece: Local Government Gets No Respect, Balkinization (May 8, 2014).
Town of Greece and the Demise of Religious Neutrality (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (May 6, 2014).
Reply to McConnell on Hobby Lobby and the Establishment Clause (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (March 30, 2014).
Hobby Lobby and the Establishment Clause: Amicus Brief (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (February 7, 2014).
Hobby Lobby and the Establishment Clause: Gedicks and the Government (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (January 21, 2014).
Hobby Lobby and the Establishment Clause, Part III: Reconciling Amos and Cutter (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (December 9, 2013).
Hobby Lobby and the Establishment Clause, Part II: What Counts As A Burden on Employees? (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (December 4, 2013).
The Establishment Clause and the Contraception Mandate (with Micah J. Schwartzman & Nelson Tebbe), Balkinization (November 27, 2013).
End of the Tavern?, Charlottesville Daily Progress B1, B3 (December 18, 2011).
Jefferson v. Cuccinelli (with Dahlia Lithwick), Slate (June 1, 2010).
Congress Behaving Badly (with Dahlia Lithwick), Washington Post B2 (October 8, 2006).
The Real World: Why Judicial Philosophies Matter (with Risa Goluboff), Slate (September 7, 2005).
At Risk: Roe, Rights and Religion, LA Times B11 (July 21, 2005).

Current Courses

All Courses

Local Government Law
Seminar in Ethical Values
Theoretical Perspectives on Property

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