Rachel Bayefsky

  • Associate Professor of Law

Rachel Bayefsky writes about constitutional law, federal courts, civil procedure and legal theory. Her work addresses both the practical workings of legal institutions and underlying philosophical ideas such as dignity and equality. One of her areas of focus is the way legal institutions approach forms of harm less tangible than physical or economic damage, especially the harms of stigma and disrespect.

Prior to joining the faculty, Bayefsky clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Bayefsky also taught at Harvard Law School as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law, and worked as a litigator at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, and her D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.


  • J.D.
    Yale Law School
  • D.Phil.
    University of Oxford
  • M.Sc.
    University of Oxford
  • B.A.
    Yale University


Dignity and Judicial Authority, Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

The State as a Temple of Human Freedom: Hegel on Religion and Politics, in Hegel on Religion and Politics, State University of New York Press, 39–57 (2013).

Articles & Reviews

Order without Formalism, 90 George Washington Law Review 1458–1470 (2022).
Administrative Stays: Power and Procedure, 97 Notre Dame Law Review 1941–1984 (2022).
Judicial Remedies and Structural Constitutional Violations (reviewing Aziz Huq, The Collapse of Constitutional Remedies) Balkinization (2022).
Remedies and Respect: Rethinking the Role of Federal Judicial Relief, 109 Georgetown Law Journal 1263–1336 (2021).
Constitutional Injury and Tangibility, 59 William & Mary Law Review 2285–2370 (2018).
Psychological Harm and Constitutional Standing, 81 Brooklyn Law Review 1555–1635 (2016).
Dignity As a Value in Agency Cost-Benefit Analysis, 123 Yale Law Journal 1732–1782 (2014).
Dignity, Honor, and Human Rights: Kant’s Perspective, 41 Political Theory 809–837 (2013).
Dignity, Rights, Nature (reviewing George Kateb, Human Dignity) 73 The Review of Politics 667–670 (2011).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

RBG: She Never Stopped Caring, SCOTUSblog (September 25, 2020).
Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Administrative & Regulatory Law News 8–9 (2020).

Current Courses

All Courses

Federal Courts
International Civil Litigation

Featured Scholarship