Catherine McCauliff

Professor Catherine McCauliff

Emeritus Professor

Professor McCauliff is a legal historian and a renowned scholar. She teaches Comparative Constitutional Law; Jurisprudence; European Legal History; English Legal History; First Amendment; Religion and the First Amendment; Theory of Contracts; Agency, Partnerships and LLCs; and Shakespeare and the Law. The theme of justice as fairness runs through all of her courses as well as her life in the law.

She is a member of Columbia University's Seminar on the History of Law and Politics and an elected member of the American Law Institute. She has been honored as a revision author of CORBIN ON CONTRACTS VOLUME 3A (now vol. 8); a Reporter to the ABA Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities; a James Madison Visiting Fellow to the Department of Politics, Princeton University; a Samuel L. Golieb Fellow in Legal History at New York University School of Law; and a recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.

In recent years, Professor McCauliff has focused her prolific scholarship upon the confluence of contract theory, religion, literature, and American, English and European legal history as they relate to the evolution of a jurisprudence of natural rights. Primary to that inquiry has been the work of both Shakespeare and Jacques Maritain, who played a key role in publicizing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Professor McCauliff received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College, her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and her J.D. from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the faculty in 1984, she taught at Washington and Lee University School of Law, and practiced law as an attorney for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She also practiced as an associate with Ullman, Van Ginkel, Miller & Wrubel, and as a securities litigation associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom.



Where’s the Meat? Lochner and the President’s Executive Order, 100 NEB. L. REV. 210 (2021)

Originalism: Privileges v. Fundamental Values, 47 HOFSTRA L. REV. 1279 (2019)

Union in Europe: Constitutional Philosophy and the Schuman Declaration, May 9, 1950, 18 Colum. J. Eur. L. 3 (2012)

Jacques Maritain's Embrace of Religious Pluralism and the Declaration on Religious Freedom, 41 Seton Hall L. Rev. 2 (2011)

Didn't Your Mother Teach You to Share?: Wealth, Lobbying and Distributive Justice in the Wake of the Economic Crisis, 62 Rutgers L. Rev. 2 (2010)

Religion and the Secular State, 58 Am. J. Comp. L. (Supp. 2010)

Cognition and Consensus in the Natural Law Tradition and in Neuroscience:  Jacques Maritain and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 54 Vill. L. Rev. 3 (2009)

The Right to Resist the Government: Tyranny, Usurpation, and Regicide in Shakespeare's Plays, 14 ILSA J. INT'L & COMP. L. 9-44 (2007)

Distant Mirror or Preview of our Future? Education Law in England and School Financing in the United States of America, 29 VERMONT L. REV. 365 (2006)

Distant Mirror or Preview of Our Future:  Does  Davey Locke down American Use of Creative English Financing for Religious Schools?, 29 Vt. L. Rev. 365 (2005)

A Historical Approach to the Contractual Ties That Bind the Parties Together, 71 Fordham L. Rev. 841-67 (2002)

A Theme of Fairness Revisited: Lord Mansfield’s Legacy for a Holistic Theory of Contract Today, 2000 DENNING LAW JOURNAL 67-91 (2000)

Parliament and the Supreme Headship: Church-State Relations according to Thomas More, 48 CATHOLIC L. REV. 101-31 (1999) (essay on Peter Ackroyd's THE LIFE OF THOMAS MORE)

Mother Teresa's Legacy to Lawyers, 8 Seton Hall L. Rev. 765-69 (1998) (with Paula Franzese)

Freedom of Contract Revisited: Johnson Controls, 9 J. CONTRACT LAW 226-233 (1996)

The Environment Held in Trust for Future Generations or the Dormant Commerce Clause Held Hostage to the Invisible Hand of the Market, 40 Vill. L. Rev. 645-685 (1995)

The Medieval English Marriage Portion From Cases of Mort D'Ancestor and Formedon, 38 VIill. L. Rev. 933-1002 (1993)

The Community of Law Teachers and Scholars Expands: Guideposts for New Faculty, 22 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1375-1388 (1992) (with Paula A. Franzese)

The Medieval Origin of the Doctrine of Estates in Land: Substantive Property Law, Family Considerations, and the Interests of Women, 66 Tul. L. Rev. 919-1013 (1992)

New Protection in Arbitrating Public Securities Disputes in the Wake of McMahon, 34 Vill. L. Rev. 25-61 (1989)

Law as a Principle of Reform, 40 Rutgers L. Rev. 429-465 (1988) (On Richard Hooker's LAWS OF ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY)

Constitutional Jurisprudence of History and Natural Law, 24 Cal. West. L. Rev. 287-335 (1987-88)

The First English Adoption Law, 16 Seton Hall L. Rev. 656-677 (1986)

Burdens of Proof: Degrees of Belief, Quanta of Evidence or Constitutional Guarantees?, 35 Vand. L. Rev. 1293-1335 (1982)

Federalism & the Constitutionality of State Take Over Statutes, 67 Va. L. Rev. 295-313 (1981)

The Reach of the Constitution: American Peacetime Court in Berlin, 55 Notre Dame L. Rev. 682-707 (1980)


Moral Pluralism, Political Disagreement and Human Rights, in Handbook of Natural Law and Human Rights, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Tom Angier, Iain Bension and Mark Retter (eds.)) (forthcoming 2022)

A Christian Looks at Contract Law, 470-485 in CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES ON LEGAL THOUGHT, in Yale U. Press (Robert Cochran, Michael McConnell and Angela C. Carmella eds.) (2001)


What Makes a Market Place Trustworthy?, 1 CORP. & BUS. L. J. 1 (2020)

On Not Making Law, 61 LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBS. 157-227 (Summer 1998) (co-authored with G.M. Gulati)

Book Review: Hartog, Public Property and Private Power, 19 Am. J. of Legal Hist. 277-280 (1985)

Trial Advocacy, 30 J. Legal Ed. 536-545 (1980)


Responses to Jacques Maritain's philosophy of Christian Engagement with Secular Society, XXXI NOTES ET DOCUMENTS 61-68 (Sep. 2006)

The Bawd and the Bard: Mercy Tempers Strict Statutory Application in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, 43 THE CATHOLIC LAWYER 81-123 (2004)


Author, revision of CORBIN ON CONTRACTS VOLUME 3A, §§ 622-771, now vol. 8, (1999)


Book Review: Alan Harding, Medieval Law & the Foundations of the State, 79 SPECULUM 1084-85, the Journal of the Medieval Academy of America (2004)