Professor Elizabeth Sepper is a scholar of religious liberty, health law, and discrimination. She has written extensively on the interactions between religion and reproductive and end-of-life healthcare. She also is one of the nation’s foremost experts in the antidiscrimination obligations of public accommodations—that is, businesses, social service providers, and organizations open to the public.
Professor Sepper will be a Law and Public Affairs fellow at Princeton University for 2018-19. She will be working on a book Sex in Public: Public Accommodation Law from the Civil War to the Bathroom Wars, which will situate today’s debates over same-sex weddings, transgender people’s bathroom access, and breastfeeding in public in the context of over a century of contestation over sex in public. This book will show that sex profoundly affected the construction of common law and statutory requirements of equal access throughout U.S. history, just as it continues to do today.
Professor Sepper’s articles have appeared in top journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, and Harvard Journal of Gender & Law. She recently published LAW, RELIGION, AND HEALTH IN THE UNITED STATES (Holly Fernandez Lynch, I. Glenn Cohen, & Elizabeth Sepper, eds. Cambridge Univ. 2017). With chapters showcasing a wide variety of perspectives and methodologies, the book explores pressing issues from religious burial and ceremonial practices that threaten public health to religious objections to counseling LGBT people.
Prior to joining the faculty, she was a fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights and Columbia Law School. She also clerked for the Hon. Marjorie Rendell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced at Human Rights Watch and NYU School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. Sepper received her J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, and LL.M. in international legal studies from NYU School of Law. She received her B.A. in history summa cum laude with distinction from Boston University.
- B.A., Boston University
- J.D., New York University School of Law
- LL.M., New York University School of Law
- Health Law
- Healthcare Financing
- Legal Advocacy in Health Law Seminar
- Areas of Expertise
- Health Law
- Law & Religion
- Public Accommodations
- Gender & Reproductive Rights
- Zombie Religious Institutions, 112 NW. U. L. REV. 929 (2018)
- Contracting Religion, in LAW, RELIGION, AND HEALTH IN THE UNITED STATES (Holly Fernandez Lynch, I. Glenn Cohen, & Elizabeth Sepper eds. 2017)
- The Role of Religion in State Public Accommodations Laws, 60 SLU L.J. 631 (2016)
- Free Exercise Lochnerism, 115 COLUM. L. REV. 1457 (2015)
- Doctoring Discrimination in the Same-Sex Marriage Debates, 89 IND. L.J. 703 (2014)
- Taking Conscience Seriously, 98 VA. L. REV. 1501 (2012)
- Activity and Affiliations
- AALS Section on Law & Religion, At-Large Member, 2016-present
- AALS Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Executive Committee, 2018-present
- Referee: Journal of Law and Biosciences; New England Journal of Medicine; Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics; Journal of Law, Religion and State
- Honors and Awards
- Law and Public Affairs Fellowship, Princeton University, 2018-19
- Audre Lorde Academic Exploration Award, Washington University LGBT* Student Association, 2016
- Dukeminier Award and the Ezekiel Webber Prize for best sexual orientation and gender identity legal scholarship, Williams Institute, 2015
- Health Law Scholar, American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics and St. Louis University Competition, 2014
- Best paper prize for Doctoring Discrimination in the Same-Sex Marriage Debates, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, 2014
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