Barry Cushman

Barry Cushman

John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law
Concurrent Professor of Political Science
Concurrent Professor of History

Office: 3105 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-0662
Staff Assistant: Beth Smith
CV: View
SSRN: View

Barry Cushman came to Notre Dame in 2012 following fifteen years on the faculty at the University of Virginia, where he was the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History. Cushman's scholarship examines the relations among constitutional law, political economy, and social reform movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His book, Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution (Oxford University Press), was awarded the American Historical Association's Littleton-Griswold Prize in American Law and Society.

Cushman has taught in a wide variety of subject-matter areas, including Constitutional Law, Property, Trusts & Estates, Estate & Gift Taxation, Estate Planning, American Intellectual & Cultural History, and numerous courses and seminars in American Legal and Constitutional History. In 2003, he was honored with the University of Virginia's All-University Teaching Award. At Notre Dame Cushman also holds appointments in the Department of History and the Department of Political Science.

Before entering teaching, Cushman practiced as an estate planning and probate attorney with the Los Angeles firm of Riordan & McKinzie. He has held research fellowships at New York University School of Law and in the Politics Department at Princeton University, and has served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the American Society for Legal History.

Courses Taught

Advanced Trusts and Estates 
American Constitutional History Before the Civil War 
American Constitutional History From the Civil War to World War II 
American Intellectual and Cultural History to 1865 
American Legal History 
Colloquium in American Legal History 
Constitutional Law 
Estate and Gift Taxation 
Estate Planning 
Trusts and Estates 
American Expansion and American Law Seminar 
The Constitution and Reform Movements Seminar 
The Family in 19th-Century America Seminar 
Judicial Biography Seminar 
Law and Political Economy in the Antebellum United States Seminar 
The Lochner Era Seminar 
Modern American Legal History Seminar 
The New Deal and the Transformation of the American Legal Order Seminar 
Slavery and the Law Seminar




Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1998).

Book Chapters: 

"The Place of Economic Crisis in American Constitutional Law: The Great Depression as a Case Study," in Constitutions in Times of Financial Crisis (Tom Ginsburg, Mark Rosen, & Georg Vanberg eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

“Federalism,” in The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution ( Karen Orren & John Compton, eds., 2018). 

“The Clerks to Justices George Sutherland and Pierce Butler,” in Of Courtiers and Kings: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices (Todd C. Peppers & Clare Cushman, eds., University of Virginia Press, 2015). 

Ambiguities of Free Labor Revisited: The Convict-Labor Question in Progressive-Era New York, in Making Legal History: A Festschrift in Honor of William E. Nelson 116 (Daniel J. Hulsebosch & R. B. Bernstein, eds., NYU Press, 2013). 

The Great Depression and the New Deal, 3 The Cambridge History of Law in America 268 (Michael Grossberg & Christopher Tomlins, eds., 2008). 


“Court-packing in Context,” 48 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 174 (2023)

“Tuesday Afternoons with Schlegel,” 69 Buff. L. Rev. 3 (2021) (Introduction to Symposium, “Serious Fun,” in honor of John Henry Schlegel)

The Judicial Reforms of 1937,” 61 William & Mary L. Rev. 995 (2020) (Institute of Bill of Rights Law Symposium, “The Role of Courts in Politically Charged Moments”)

The Decline of Revocation by Physical Act,” 54 Real Prop., Tr. & Est. L. J. 243 (2019).

Teaching the Lochner Era, 62 St. Louis U. L. J. 537 (2018) (Teaching the Fourteenth Amendment Issue). 

Inside the "Constitutional Revolution" of 1937, 2016 Sup. Ct. Rev. 367 (2017). 

The Missing Justice in Coleman v. Miller, 42 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 67 (2017). 

Vote Fluidity on the Hughes Court: The Critical Terms, 1934-1936, 2017 U. Ill. L. Rev. 269 (2017). 

Inside the Taft Court: Lessons from the Docket Books, 2015 Sup. Ct. Rev. 345 (2016). 

Justice Brandeis and Substantive Due Process,19 Green Bag 2d 145 (2016). 

The Hughes Court Docket Books: The Late Terms, 1937-1940, 55 Am. J. Leg. Hist. 361 (2015). 

The Hughes Court Docket Books: The Early Terms, 1929-1933, 40 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 103 (2015). 

The Clerks of the Four Horsemen, Part II, 40 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 55 (2015) 

Interpreting Secretary Perkins, 18 Green Bag 2d 13 (2014) 

The Clerks of the Four Horsemen, Part I, 39 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 386 (2014). 

The Jurisprudence of the Hughes Court: The Recent Literature, 89 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1929 (2014) (Symposium, “The Evolution of Theory: Discerning the Catalysts of Constitutional Change”). 

Tax Recognition, 58 St. Louis. U. L.J. 825 (2014) (Teaching Trusts & Estates Issue). 

NFIB v. Sebelius and the Transformation of the Taxing Power, 89 Notre Dame L. Rev. 133 (2013) (Constitution Day Lecture). 

Carolene Products and Constitutional Structure, 2012 Sup. Ct. Rev. 321 (2013). 

Court-Packing and Compromise, 29 Const. Comm. 1 (2013). 

The Court-Packing Plan as Symptom, Casualty, and Cause of Gridlock, 88 Notre Dame. L. Rev. 2089 (2013) (Symposium, "The American Congress: Legal Implications of Gridlock"). 

The Man on the Flying Trapeze, 15 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 183 (2012) (reviewing Jeff Shesol, Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court) (Symposium, "FDR and Obama: Are There Constitutional Law Lessons from the New Deal for the Obama Administration?") 

The Hughes-Roberts Visit, 15 The Green Bag 2d 125 (2012) 

The Limits of the New Deal Analogy, 15 The Green Bag 2d 139 (2012) 

Headline Kidnappings and the Origins of the Lindbergh Law, 55 St. Louis U. L. J. 1293 (2011) 

The Securities Laws and the Mechanics of Legal Change, 95 Va. L. Rev. 927 (2009). 

The Structure of Classical Public Law (reviewing Duncan Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of Classical Legal Thought), 75 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1917 (2008). 

Regime Theory and Unenumerated Rights: A Cautionary Note, 9 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 263 (2006) (Symposium, "The Future of Unenumerated Rights"). 
HeinOnline (PDF) 

Some Varieties and Vicissitudes of Lochnerism, 85 B. U. L. Rev. 881 (2005) (Symposium, Lochner Centennial Conference). 

Clerking for Scrooge (reviewing David J. Garrow & Dennis Hutchinson, eds., The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox: A Year in the Life of a Supreme Court Clerk in FDR’s Washington) 70 U. Chi. L. Rev. 721 (2003). 

Continuity and Change in Commerce Clause Jurisprudence, 55 Ark. L. Rev. 1009 (2003) (Symposium, "The Commerce Clause: Past, Present, and Future"). 
HeinOnline (PDF) 

Small Differences?,55 Ark. L. Rev. 1097 (2003) (Symposium, "The Commerce Clause: Past, Present, and Future"). 
HeinOnline (PDF) 

Mr. Dooley and Mr. Gallup: Public Opinion and Constitutional Change in the 1930s, 50 Buff. L. Rev. 7 (2002) (Mitchell Lecture). 

Lochner, Liquor and Longshoremen: A Puzzle in Progressive Era Federalism, 32 J. Mar. L. & Com. 1 (2001). 

Formalism and Realism in Commerce Clause Jurisprudence, 67 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1089 (2000). 

Lost Fidelities, 41 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 95 (1999) (Institute of Bill of Rights Law Symposium, "Fidelity, Economic Liberty, and 1937"). 

The Hughes Court and Constitutional Consultation, 23-1 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 79 (1998) (Supreme Court Historical Society Lecture). 

The Secret Lives of the Four Horsemen, 83 Va. L. Rev. 559 (1997). 

Rethinking the New Deal Court, 80 Va. L. Rev. 201 (1994). 
HeinOnline (PDF) 

Doctrinal Synergies and Liberal Dilemmas: The Case of the Yellow-Dog Contract, 1992 Sup. Ct. Rev. 235 (1993). 

A Stream of Legal Consciousness: The Current of Commerce Doctrine from Swift to Jones & Laughlin, 61 Fordham. L. Rev. 105-60 (1992). 

Intestate Succession in a Polygamous Society, 23 Conn. L. Rev. 281-332 (1991) 

Essays and Short Reviews: 

Book Review, Karen M. Tani, States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights, and American Governance, 1935-1972, 35 Law & Hist. Rev.271 (2017). 

"The New Deal Constitutional Revolution," in 3 American Governance 330 (Stephen Schechter, ed., Macmillan, 2016). 

Book Review, Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, 71 Historian 383 (2009). 

"The Supreme Court Encounters the New Deal," 5 Insights on Law & Society 7 (Fall 2004). 

"The Supreme Court," in 2 Encyclopedia of the Great Depression 951 (Robert S. McElvaine, ed., Macmillan, 2004). 

"The Supreme Court 'Packing' Controversy," in 2 Encyclopedia of the Great Depression 957 (Robert S. McElvine, ed., Macmillan, 2004). 

"Homer Cummings," in 1 Encyclopedia of the Great Depression 221 (Robert S. McElvine, ed., Macmillan, 2004).

"The New Deal's Constitutional Significance," in 4 Encyclopedia of the American Constitution 1797 (2d. ed.) (Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth Karst, and Adam Winkler, eds., Macmillan, 2000). 

"Edward Terry Sanford," in American National Biography (John A. Garraty, ed., Oxford University Press, 1999). 

"The Commerce Clause: The New Deal," in The Constitution and Its Amendments (Roger K. Newman, ed., Macmillan, 1999). 

"John Hessin Clarke," in The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary (Melvin I. Urofsky, ed., Garland, 1994). 

"Mahlon Pitney," in The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary (Melvin I. Urofsky, ed., Garland, 1994). 

"Edward Terry Sanford," in The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary (Melvin I. Urofsky, ed., Garland, 1994). 

Book Review, William Ross, A Muted Fury: Populists, Progressives, and Labor Unions Confront the Courts, 1890-1937, Constitution Magazine (Spring 1994). 

Book Review, Herbert Hovenkamp, Enterprise and American Law, 1836-1937, 52 J. Econ. Hist. 968 (1992).

Areas of Expertise

  • Constitutional History
  • Legal History
  • Trusts & Estates