Michael Coenen

Professor Michael Coenen

Marino, Tortorella and Boyle Professor of Law

Michael Coenen joined Seton Hall Law in 2018 as a tenured full Professor. He brings a national reputation as a scholar of U.S. constitutional law, having published in the Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Minnesota Law Review. His work focuses on the structure and implementation of public law norms, paying special attention to the challenges that courts confront when translating abstract legal dictates into workable rules of public law doctrine.

In pursuing his scholarship, Professor Coenen seeks to offer insights of value to theorists and practitioners alike. On the theoretical side, his work has contributed to ongoing scholarly inquiries concerning the relationship between rights and remedies, the tradeoffs between rules and standards, and hierarchical relationships within the federal judiciary, among other things. On the practical side, his work has uncovered patterns of argumentation and reasoning that exist across traditional doctrinal boundaries, and it has offered prescriptive insights as to how judges and practitioners might deploy them in a consistent and coherent manner.

Professor Coenen has been recognized as a superb classroom teacher, having won multiple teaching awards over the course of his career. He teaches courses in administrative law, comparative constitutional law, U.S. constitutional law, constitutional theory, federal courts, and state and local taxation.

Prior to joining Seton Hall, Professor Coenen was a faculty member at Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. He was also a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. He holds an A.B. in Music from Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude, and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Articles Editor for the Yale Law Journal. After graduating from law school, he clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.



Right-Remedy Equilibration and the Asymmetric Entrenchment of Legal Entitlements, 61 B.C. L. Rev. 129 (2020)

Minor Courts, Major Questions, 70 Vand. L. Rev. 777 (2017) (with Seth Davis)

More Restrictive Alternatives, 96 N.C. L. Rev. 1 (2017)

Combining Constitutional Clauses, 164 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1067 (2016)

Spillover Across Remedies, 98 Minn. L. Rev. 1211 (2014)

Constitutional Privileging, 99 Va. L. Rev. 683 (2013)

Of Speech and Sanctions: Toward a Penalty-Sensitive Approach to the First Amendment, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 991 (2012)


Campaign Communications and the Problem of Government Motive, 18 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 333 (2019)

Characterizing Constitutional Inputs, 67 Duke L.J. 743 (2018)

Rules Against Rulification, 124 Yale L.J. 576 (2014)

Note, The Significance of Signatures: Why the Framers Signed the Constitution and What They Meant By Doing So, 119 Yale L.J. 966 (2010)

Comment, Original Jurisdiction Deadlocks, 118 Yale L.J. 1003 (2009)

Rhapsody in Blue: An Ode to The Bluebook, 12 Green Bag 2D 115 (2008)


Full list of presentations available in Curriculum Vitae

Remedial Vetoes and the Asymmetric Entrenchment of Legal Entitlements, Faculty Workshop (January 24, 2019) (Penn State Law School)

The Elusive Zone of Twilight, Faculty Workshop (February 27, 2019) (St. John’s Law School)

Campaign Communications and the Problem of Government Motive, Louisiana Law Scholars’ Forum (February 23, 2018) (Loyola University New Orleans School of Law)

Equilibration’s Bias, Judicial Process/Judicial Administration Roundtable (December 14, 2018) (Duke Law School)

Equilibration’s Bias, Notre Dame Remedies Roundtable (June 12, 2018) (Chicago IL)