Benjamin Eidelson is an Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Professor Eidelson’s writing focuses on the interplay of moral principles and legal rules. He works primarily in constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, administrative law, and legal theory.
Professor Eidelson’s recent articles include a critique of the idea of “treating people as individuals” in equal protection doctrine, an analysis of the role of political-accountability concerns in recent decisions of the Roberts Court, an account of the moral objection to algorithmic decision-making that perpetuates patterned inequality, and a “dimensional” theory of the grounds of disparate treatment recognized in anti-discrimination laws. His first book, Discrimination and Disrespect, based on his doctoral dissertation in philosophy, develops an account of wrongful discrimination rooted in the moral demands of respect for persons. His writing for broader audiences has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, and other publications.
Professor Eidelson has also litigated significant cases involving constitutional law, administrative law, and immigration. In 2019, he developed and advanced a legal theory that was adopted by the Supreme Court in its decision invalidating the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. During his time in private practice, he litigated cases at all levels of the federal judiciary, including arguing an appeal in the D.C. Circuit that reinstated a challenge to the State Department’s implementation of President Trump’s “travel ban.” He has also served as co-counsel to plaintiffs challenging the ban on military service by transgender individuals.
Professor Eidelson graduated summa cum laude from Yale College and received his D.Phil. and B.Phil. in Philosophy from Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar and was awarded the Gilbert Ryle Prize. He then earned his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal and as a Student Director of the Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic. After law school, Professor Eidelson clerked for Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Elena Kagan of the U.S. Supreme Court.
- B.A. Philosophy & Political Science Yale College, 2008
- B.Phil. Philosophy University of Oxford, 2010
- D.Phil Philosophy University of Oxford, 2011
- J.D. Yale Law School, 2014
- Justice Elena Kagan, Supreme Court of the United States, 2016 - 2017
- Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 2014 - 2015
FavoriteBenjamin Eidelson, Reasoned Explanation and Political Accountability in the Roberts Court, 130 Yale L.J. 1652 (2021).
FavoriteBenjamin Eidelson, Respect, Individualism, and Colorblindness, 129 Yale L.J. 1600 (2020).
FavoriteBenjamin Eidelson, Discrimination and Disrespect (2015).
- Benjamin Eidelson, Dimensional Disparate Treatment, 95 S. Cal. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2022).
- Benjamin Eidelson, Patterned Inequality, Compounding Injustice, and Algorithmic Prediction, 1 Am. J.L. & Equality 252 (2021).