Samuel A. Marcosson

Professor of Law

Samuel A. Marcosson's picture


Professor Marcosson graduated from Yale Law School in 1986. After clerking for Judge George C. Pratt on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, he joined the appellate staff at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C., where he spent the next eight years briefing and arguing cases in the federal courts of appeals. During that time, Professor Marcosson also helped to design and conduct the EEOC's training program for its employees after enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act before it went into effect in 1992.

Since joining the faculty, Professor Marcosson's research and writing has concentrated on constitutional law (especially the Fourteenth Amendment), and the civil rights issues facing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Lesbian and Gay Legal Association, and was the programming coordinator for its annual conference in 1998.  From 2008-2014, Professor Marcosson served on the Coordinating Committee of the Fairness Campaign, Louisville's long-standing LGBT civil rights organization. In 2013, he began service on the Kentucky State Advisory Committee for the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

In 2002, Professor Marcosson published the book, Original Sin: Clarence Thomas and the Failure of the Constitutional Conservatives. It takes a critical look at the record of the Supreme Court's most conservative members, examining whether they have been consistent in applying their "originalist" method of constitutional interpretation, especially in the landmark case deciding the presidential election of 2000.

From 2004-2006, he served as the School of Law's Associate Dean for Student Life.  From 2005 through 2011-12, his Professor Marcosson chaired the law school's Admissions Committee, and in so doing helped welcome each year's incoming first year class.

Professor Marcosson teaches Constitutional Law, Sexual Orientation and the Law, Employment Discrimination, and Criminal Law.


Selected Articles:


The Special Status of Religion Under the First Amendment ... and What it Means For Gay Rights and Anti-Discrimination Laws in Moral Argument, Religion, and Same-Sex Marriage: Advancing the Public Good

 (Book Chapter) (2009)


U of L's Domestic Partner Benefits Do Not Violate the State Constitution's Marriage Amendment

Louisville Courier-Journal, February 22, 2007 (Op-ed)


Client Counseling as an Ethical Obligtation: Advising Employers Before They Discriminate

Northern Kentucky Law Review 221 (2006)


Of Square Pegs and Round Holes: The Supreme Court’s Ongoing “Title VII-ization” of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Univ. of Iowa Journal of Gender, Race & Justice 361 (2004)


Multiplicities of Subordination: The Challenge of Real Inter-Group Conflicts of Interest

University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review 459 (2002)


Constructive Immutability

U. of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 646 (2001)


Colorizing the Constitution of Originalism: Clarence Thomas at the Rubicon

Law & Inequality 429 (1998)


Romer and the Limits of Legitimacy: Stripping Opponents of Gay and Lesbian Rights of Their “First Line of Defense” in the Same-Sex Marriage Fight

24 Journal of Contemporary Law 217 (1998)


The Lesson of the Same-Sex Marriage Trial: The Importance of Pushing Opponents of Lesbian and Gay Rights to Their “Second Line of Defense”

35 Journal of Family Law 721 (1997)



Selected Presentations:


Contraception & The Affordable Care Act - The Supreme Court's

Decision in Hobby Lobby

Kentucky Tonight

July 28, 2014 (original air date)


Liberty and Justice For All? Views of Religious Liberty in Our

National Landscape

A Panel on the State of Religious Liberty & Extremism

Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, KY

July 6, 2014


The Defense of Marriage Act & The Supreme Court

Continuing Legal Education Program

Louisville Bar Association

November 8, 2013


Prevention v. Prosecution: HIV is Not a Crime

A Panel on The Criminalization of HIV

Louisville Metro Department of Health & Wellness

October 2, 2013


The Use of Race in Undergraduate Admissions Decisions

A Debate with Prof. James Blumstein on Fisher v. University of Texas

University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law

November 8, 2012


The Beginning of the End of Affirmative Action?

A Panel on Fisher v. University of Texas

University of Kentucky College of Law

October 24, 2012


The Supreme Court and Health Care: Possibilities and Implications

A Forum on the Affordable Care Act and the Decision in Sebelius

Louisville Metro Democratic Club

June 13, 2012


The 20-Year Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

A Debate with Professor Scott Gerber

Ohio Northern University Petit College of Law

February 23, 2012


Does the Patriot Act Draw the Right Balance Between Liberty

and Security?

A Debate with Professor Nathan Sales

University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law

September 8, 2011


Christian Legal Society v. Martinez: Balancing Freedom of Religion

and Discrimination

A Debate with Dr. Bruce Frohnen

University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law

September 16, 2010


I Was in The Right Case, But it Must Have Been the WrongTime:

The Ill-Timed Challenge to California's Ban on Same-Sex Marriages 

Bradley University Current Issues Speaker Series

October 5, 2009


The Founders' Precedent: Constitutional Transformation

Constitution Day Speech to the Kentucky Chapters of the 

Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution

September 19, 2009


Constitutional Issues Surrounding Same-Sex Marriage

A Debate with Prof. Paul Salamanca

Transylvania University

September 17, 2009


What We Did (and Didn't) Learn From the Sotomayor Hearings:

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Bellarmine University Constitution Day Speech

September 17, 2009


Constitutional Interpretation: A Debate on Originalism

A Debate With Prof. John McGinnis

University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law

Federalist Society

September 1, 2009


The Constitution, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Modern


A Debate With Prof. John Baker on Same-Sex Marriage

University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law

Federalist Society

February 9, 2009


Extreme Makeover 2008: What the Selling of Sarah Palin Tells Us About . . . Us

Women's and Gender Studies Lecture Series

University of Louisville

October 29, 2008


Should George W. Bush Be Impeached?

Carl Braden Memorial Center

Louisville, Ky.

March 24, 2008


Testimony on S.B. 152 (to bar public agencies from offering domestic partner health insurance benefits)

Kentucky General Assembly, House Committee on Health and Welfare

Frankfort, Kentucky

March 1, 2007 (

March 6, 2007 (


Testimony on the Workplace Religious Freedom Act

United States House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations

Washington, D.C.

November 10, 2005


Should Clarence Thomas Be Chief Justice?

On-line debate with Professor Stephen Presser in Legal Affairs

January 3-7, 2005