Professor of Law
Professor Nourse is one of the nation’s leading scholars on statutory interpretation, Congress, and the separation of powers.
Her latest book, Misreading Law, Misreading Democracy, was published by Harvard Press in 2016. She has also published widely on the power of the President and the separation of powers, Reclaiming the Constitutional Text from Originalism: The Case of Executive Power, 106 Calif. L. Rev. 1 (2018), and on constitutional rights, including her book, In Reckless Hands (Norton 2008), the story of Skinner v. Oklahoma and American eugenics. She is a coauthor with Yale’s William Eskridge and Abbe Gluck of the most up to date casebook on legislation: Statutes, Regulation, and Interpretation: Legislation and Administration in the Republic of Statutes (2014 & 2018 Supp.)
Professor Nourse has had a distinguished career in government up and down Pennsylvania Avenue. In 2015-2016, she served as Chief Counsel to the Vice President of the United States. Prior to that she served as an appellate lawyer in the Justice Department and Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The story of her role in the fight for the original Violence Against Women Act is told in the 2009 bookEqual: Women Reshape American Law.
Prior to teaching at Georgetown, Professor Nourse held chairs at the Emory University and the University of Wisconsin. She has also been a visiting professor at Yale, NYU, Northwestern, and the University of Maryland.
Professor Nourse began her legal career in New York, clerking for a legendary trial judge, Edward Weinfeld, and practicing at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. She left private practice to serve as junior counsel to the Senate-Iran Contra Committee under Senators Rudman and Inouye.
Professor Nourse is Director of the law schools’ first Center on Congressional Studies.
B.A., Stanford; J.D., University of California Berkeley