Charlton Copeland

Professor of Law & M. Minnette Massey Chair in Law

J.D. 2003, Yale Law School
M.A.R. 2002, Yale Divinity School
A.B. 1996, Amherst College

Phone: 305-284-2376
Office: G271

Charlton Copeland joined the faculty in 2007.  He teaches Civil Procedure I and II, Federal Courts, Administrative Law, and the Regulatory State.  In addition, he has served as the Faculty Coordinator of the Florida Supreme Court Internship Program, and the Law School’s Washington, DC Externship Program, where he teaches Federal Policy Making: Legislation, Regulation and Litigation.  He is a 2015 recipient of the Richard Hausler Golden Apple Award for the faculty member contributing the most to the student body both academically and through his or her extracurricular activities.

His scholarship has focused primarily on the ways in which federalism as a constitutional and political structure is mediated in: the relationship between federal and state courts, the jurisprudence of remedies for state violations of federal law, and the relationship between state and federal implementation of federal policy.  In addition, he has written about the intersection between law and theology as they relate to religion’s role in American democracy and the framing of liberationist critiques of same sex marriage.  He is a recipient of the 2013 Dukeminier Award and the Michael Cunningham Prize, from the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, for the best law review articles published on sexual orientation and gender identity law issues in the previous year.  His current scholarly interests explore the relationship between race and American political institutions and structures, particularly how attention to race and American political institutions informs federal courts jurisprudence, and the implications of federalism’s survival of the demise of formal racial apartheid in America.  He is also interested in the ways in which federalism shape the development of American public policy, particularly health policy.

In addition to his academic commitments, Professor Copeland has served the larger Miami-Dade community as a member of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, an independent county agency with advisory and quasi-judicial authority, from 2010-2014.  He served as Chair of the Commission from 2012-2013.  He has also served as Chair of the Law and Humanities Section of the American Association of Law Schools.

Prior to joining the Law School faculty, Professor Copeland served as a visiting assistant professor of law at Northwestern University Law School.  He was an associate at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) in Washington, DC, where he focused on litigation (appellate and insurance) and regulatory (communications) matters.  In addition, he served as a law clerk to Justices Richard J. Goldstone and Catherine O’Regan of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and as a clerk to Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Professor Copeland is a graduate of Amherst College, Yale Divinity School, and Yale Law School.


Beyond Separation in Federalism Enforcement: Medicaid Expansion, Coercion, and the Norm of Engagement, 15 U. Pa. J. of Const. L. 91-182 (2012)

From Separation to Engagement in Tenth Amendment Jurisprudence: Medicaid Expansion and the Bureaucratic Life of Federalism Enforcement, 15 U. Pa. J. of Const. L. ___ (forthcoming, 2012).

Creation Stories: Stanley Hauerwas, Same-Sex Marriage, and Narrative in Law and Theology, 75 Law & Contemp. Probs. 87-113 (2012) (Theological Argument in Law: Engaging with Stanley Hauerwas Symposium).

Federal Law in State Court: Judicial Federalism Through a Relational Lens, 19 Wm & Mary Bill of Rights J. 511-590 (2011).

"'Fists and the Sorrowful Voices of Women': Race, Gender and the Reconstruction of the Word in Toni Morrison’s Jazz," in African American Culture and Legal Discourse (Lovalerie King and Rich Schur, eds., 2009) 130-158.

Ex parte Young: Sovereignty, Immunity and the Constitutional Structure of American Federalism, 40 U. Tol. L. Rev. 843-888 (2009) (symposium).

God-Talk in the Age of Obama: Theology and Religious Political Engagement, 86 Denv. U. L. Rev. 663-691 (2009) (Obama Phenomenon: Facets of an Historic Campaign Symposium).

"Ripeness," in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (Tanenhaus, et. al., eds., 2008).

Private Pathologies and Public Policies: Race, Class and the Failure of Child Welfare, 20 Yale Law & Pol'y Rev. 513 (2002) (reviewing Dorothy E. Roberts, Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare).

 News / Media

Professor Charlton Copeland and Professor Zanita Fenton in "50 years later, Washington march could again influence fight over voting rights - and more - civil rights advocates say" in The Palm Beach Post.

Professor Charlton Copeland participated in a panel discussion on "Constitutional Warfare" on WPBT's Viewpoint.

Professor Charlton Copeland and Zanita Fenton were quoted in a Palm Beach Post article about the U.S. Supreme Court's hearings on California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Professor Charlton Copeland was quoted in the Palm Beach Post about the Supreme Court's reconsideration of Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Read article

Phone: 305-284-2376
Office: G271
Faculty Assistant

Sutton, Tina

Phone: (305)284-4241
Office: G287