Judith Resnik

Arthur Liman Professor of Law


Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where she teaches about federalism, procedure, courts, prisons, equality, and citizenship.

FULL BIOGRAPHY

Contact Information


Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215

New Haven, CT 06520

Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., New York University School of Law, 1975

B.A., Bryn Mawr College, 1972

Courses Taught


  • Federal and State Courts
  • Liman Project

Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where she teaches about federalism, procedure, courts, prisons, equality, and citizenship. Her scholarship focuses on the impact of democracy on government services, from courts and prisons to post offices, on the relationships of states to citizens and non-citizens, on the forms and norms of federalism, and on equality and gender.

Professor Resnik's books include Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (with Dennis Curtis, Yale University Press, 2011); Federal Courts Stories (co-edited with Vicki C. Jackson, Foundation Press, 2010); and Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender (co-edited with Seyla Benhabib, NYU, 2009). In 2014, Resnik was the co-editor (with Linda Greenhouse) of the Daedalus volume, The Invention of Courts. Recent book chapters and articles include Accommodations, Discounts, and Displacement: The Variability of Rights as a Norm of Federalism(s) (Jus Politicum, 2017); Bordering by Law: The Migration of Law, Crimes, Sovereignty, and the Mail, in Nomos LVII: Immigration, Emigration, and Migration (2017); Revising Our “Common Intellectual Heritage” (Notre Dame Law Review, 2016); Constructing the “Foreign:” American Law’s Relationship to Non-Domestic Sources, in Courts and Comparative Law (2015); and Diffusing Disputes: The Public in the Private of Arbitration, the Private in Courts, and the Erasure of Rights (Yale Law Journal, 2015).

Professor Resnik now chairs Yale Law School’s Global Constitutional Law Seminar, a part of the Gruber Program on Global Justice and Women’s Rights. She is the editor of the volumes, published as e-books, from 2012 forward, including Reconstituting Constitutional Orders (2017), and The Reach of Rights (2015).

Professor Resnik is the founding director of Yale's Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law, supporting fellowships for law graduates and summer fellowships for students at Barnard, Brown, Harvard, Princeton, Spelman, Stanford, and Yale. The Liman Center sponsors colloquia and seminars on the civil and criminal justice systems. From its inception in 1997 through 2017, 122 graduates of the Yale Law School have held Liman Fellowships.

During the past few years, the Liman Center has worked on projects related to incarceration. The Liman Center has joined with the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) to do a series of reports on solitary confinement, in which prisoners are held for 22 hours or more in their cells, for 15 days or longer. In 2013, ASCA and Liman documented the rules governing isolation and showed how easy it was to be sent to segregation. In 2015, ASCA and the Liman Center co-authored Time-in-Cell: The ASCA-Liman 2014 National Survey of Administrative Segregation in Prison. The report is the first to provide updated information, as of the fall of 2014, on both the numbers of people (80,000 to 100,000) and the conditions in solitary confinement nationwide. The data have drawn national attention; the federal government relied on this study to institute reforms. In 2016, Liman and ASCA co-authored Aiming to Reduce Time-In-Cell: Reports from Correctional Systems on the Numbers of Prisoners in Restricted Housing and on the Potential of Policy Changes to Bring About Reforms. Like the prior report, this monograph provides the only current, comprehensive data on the use of isolation. As that report details, as of the fall of 2015, of the 66,000 or more in segregation, some 6,000 people were held under such conditions for more than three years. The report also documents efforts across the country to reduce the number of people so confined and to reform the conditions, so as to limit the degree of deprivation and to improve safety for prisoners, staff, and communities at large.

Professor Resnik has chaired the Sections on Procedure, on Federal Courts, and on Women in Legal Education of the American Association of Law Schools. She is a Managerial Trustee of the International Association of Women Judges. Professor Resnik served as a founder and, for more than a decade, as a co-chair of Yale University’s Women Faculty Forum, begun in 2001.

Professor Resnik is also an occasional litigator; she argued Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter, decided in 2009 by the United States Supreme Court; and she also argued the case, decided in 1987, about the admission of women to the Rotary Club. Professor Resnik has testified before Congress, before rulemaking committees of the federal judiciary, and before the House of Commons of Canada.

From 2014 to 2016, Professor Resnik was a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, travelling to various liberal arts colleges in the United States. In 2015, she was a visiting professor at Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II, and she also holds a term appointment as an Honorary Visiting Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London.

In 1998, Professor Resnik was the recipient of the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the Commission on Women of the American Bar Association. In 2001, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2002, a member of the American Philosophical Society, where she delivered the Henry LaBarre Jayne Lecture in 2005. In 2008, Professor Resnik received the Outstanding Scholar of the Year Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. In 2010, she was named a recipient of the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Prize, awarded to outstanding faculty in higher education in the fields of psychology or law. That year, Professor Resnik also had a cameo role in the Doug Liman film, Fair Game. In 2013, Professor Resnik was given the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award, the highest honor presented by the National Association of Women Lawyers. In 2017, she was honored by former Liman fellows with the establishment of the Resnik-Curtis Fellowship in Public Interest Law.

Her books have also received appreciation for their contributions. In 2011, Representing Justice was selected by The Guardian as one of the year’s “best legal reads;” in 2012, by the American Publishers Association as the recipient of two PROSE awards for excellence in social sciences and in law/legal studies, and by the American Society of Legal Writers for the 2012 SCRIBES award. In 2014, Representing Justice won the Order of the Coif award, presented every two years in recognition of a book’s outstanding contributions to legal scholarship.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Two Former Liman Fellows Return to YLS as Faculty Members

This fall, Yale Law School’s new cohort of faculty includes two members of the Liman community, Marisol Orihuela, a 2008–2009 Liman Fellow, and Monica Bell, a 2010–2011 Liman Fellow.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Cory Booker And Elizabeth Warren Want To Treat Women In Prison Like Human Beings

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted in an article on efforts to reform how the U.S. federal prison system treats women.

Friday, April 28, 2017


Prison Officials Resist Push to Curb Solitary Confinement

A study by the Liman Center and the Association of State Correctional Administrators is mentioned in an article on how prison officials are resisting efforts to curb the use of solitary confinement. (Note: Subscription required to read publication.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


New Public Interest Fellowship Honors Professors Resnik and Curtis

A new fellowship honors Professors Judith Resnik and Dennis E. Curtis ’66 for their commitment to public interest law.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Solitary by the Numbers

A study by the Liman Center and the Association of State Correctional Administrators is cited in a feature article about solitary confinement.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


New York's Solitary Confinement Overhaul Gets Pushback From Union

A study conducted by the Liman Program is mentioned in a story about pushback to New York State reforms in the use of solitary confinement.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Older Judges and Vacant Seats Give Trump Huge Power to Shape American Courts

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted in an article about the potential for President Trump to shape the federal judiciary.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Here's Who Could Get Deported Under President Trump's New Executive Order

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik was interviewed about Donald Trump’s executive order regarding federal immigration law.

Monday, December 5, 2016


The Link Between Race and Solitary Confinement

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted in an article on the racial disparity among those in solitary confinement across the country.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Yale Report Tries To Count People Held In Solitary Confinement

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik was interviewed about Aiming to Reduce Time-In-Cell, a report by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and The Liman Program about the effects of solitary confinement.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Who’s in Solitary Confinement?

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted in an article on Aiming to Reduce Time-In-Cell, a report by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and The Liman Program about the use of solitary confinement. Similar coverage appeared in The Atlantic.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


‘Punishment has some form of boundaries:’ Yale Law Prof. Seeks to Reform Prisons

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik gave a talk on the Newton Campus about prison reform. 

Monday, August 22, 2016


Arbitration Cuts the Public Out and Limits Redress—A Commentary by Judith Resnik

Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Los Angeles County Restricts Solitary for Juveniles

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted in an article about a Los Angeles County plan to restrict the use of solitary confinement for juveniles in detention there.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


What is solitary confinement?; From what it is to how much it costs, we answer key questions about the solitary confinement of prisoners

A report co-authored by the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program is cited in an article about solitary confinement.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


11 incredible women promoting social justice

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik, Sonia Sotomayor ’79, and Katherine Kimpel ’06 are included in a list of women in law working toward social justice. Devon Porter ’15 is quoted.

Friday, January 29, 2016


How a routine traffic stop turned into six months in solitary confinement

Time-In-Cell, a report by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and the Liman Public Interest Program, is cited in an article about solitary confinement.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Crackdown on solitary confinement begins, but a culture of secrecy remains

Time-In-Cell, a report by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and the Liman Public Interest Program, is cited in an article about solitary confinement.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Why we must rethink solitary confinement

Time-In-Cell, a report by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and the Liman Public Interest Program, is cited in a commentary by President Obama about solitary confinement.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Chief Justice Embraces Information Access Limit

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted in an article about new rules regarding civil litigation.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


More than a decade after release, they all come back

Time-in-Cell, a report by the Association of Prison Administrators and The Liman Program, is referenced in an article about the effects of solitary confinement.

Monday, October 19, 2015


Connecticut Decreases Use Of Solitary Confinement In Prisons

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik and Hope Metcalf, Executive Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights are quoted in an article about the use of solitary confinement in prisons.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Court Conundrum: Offenders Who Can’t Pay, or Won’t

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted in an article about court fines.

Friday, September 4, 2015


CA Inmates Win Case Against Solitary Confinement

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik and Dwayne Betts ’16 were guests and discussed a recent legal victory by California prisoners opposed to solitary confinement.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Prison Officials Join Movement to Curb Solitary Confinement

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted, and the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program is mentioned in a New York Times article about a report released by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and Liman Program that calls for limiting solitary confinement. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


New Yale Survey Estimates Nearly 100,000 in Solitary Confinement in the U.S.

Arthur Liman Professor of Law YLS professor Judith Resnik was interviewed and discussed the report on solitary confinement released by the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program and the Association of State Correctional Administrators.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Prison Directors Group Calls for Limiting Solitary Confinement

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted, and the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program is mentioned in an article about a report released by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and Liman Program that calls for limiting solitary confinement.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Large Number of Inmates in Solitary Poses Problem for Justice System, Study Says

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is quoted, and the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program is mentioned in an article about a report released by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and Liman Program that calls for limiting solitary confinement.

Monday, August 3, 2015


With one decision, Obama and Lynch could reshape the criminal justice system—A Commentary by Robert Ferguson, Judith Resnik, and Margo Schlanger ’93

Robert Ferguson is a law professor at Columbia University, Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, and Margo Schlanger ’93 is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


No Fast Track for Unfair Trade Deals—A Commentary by Amy Kapczynski ’03 and Judith Resnik

Amy Kapczynski ’03 is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School and director of the Global Health Justice Partnership and Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Liman Program Submits a Statement to Task Force on Women in Detention

On March 2, 2015, the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School submitted a statement to the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Can Less Confidentiality Mean More Fairness in Campus Sexual Assault Cases?—A Commentary by Judith Resnik, Alexandra Brodsky ’16, and Claire Simonich ’16

Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School; Alexandra Brodsky ’16 and Claire Simonich ’16 are students at Yale Law School. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Liman Program Submits Testimony to Senate Committee on Women in Detention

The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights on December 9, 2014. The statement submitted was titled “Women in Detention: The Need for a National Agenda.”

Friday, November 7, 2014


2014 Doctoral Scholarship Conference: Law and Responsibility on November 14–15

Yale Law School will host its 4th Doctoral Scholarship Conference on November 14 and 15, 2014.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Professor Resnik Selected as Visiting Scholar by Phi Beta Kappa Society

The Phi Beta Kappa Society has selected Judith Resnik, the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, as a 2014-2015 Visiting Scholar.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Professors Judith Resnik, Dennis Curtis ’66 to Receive 2014 Biennial Book Award from the Order of the Coif

Professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis ’66 have been selected as winners for the Order of the Coif Book Award for their work, Representing Justice.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Liman Program Publishes Research on Policies Governing Isolation in State and Federal Prisons

The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School has published research on policies that govern isolation in state and federal prisons.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Professor Judith Resnik to Receive Top Honor from National Association of Women Lawyers

Professor Judith Resnik will receive the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers for her professional achievement and contribution to the advancement of women's interests under the law.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


YLS Students Collaborate with Corrections Directors to Examine Prison Visitation Policies Nationwide

Working with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, Yale Law students have produced a fifty state survey of prison visitation policies.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Professors Resnik and Curtis ’66 Receive 2012 Scribes Book Award for “Representing Justice”

Yale law professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis ’66 have been honored with the Scribes 2012 Book Award for “Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


YLS Professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis Will Speak to Supreme Court Historical Society

Yale Law School professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis will present the annual lecture for the Supreme Court Historical Society on June 4.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Doug Liman Honors His Father with Film for 15th Anniversary of Liman Program

Movie producer Doug Liman honored his father, Arthur Liman, with a short film about his father’s career and commitment to public service at the fifteenth annual Liman Public Interest Law Colloquium March 1-2, 2012.

Friday, February 3, 2012


“Representing Justice” by Professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis ’66 Wins Two PROSE Awards, Named Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine

“Representing Justice,” by Yale Law professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis ’66, has won two PROSE awards and has been recognized as an outstanding academic title by Choice Magazine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Professor Resnik and Justice Ginsburg Uphold Women’s Rights in Re-enactment of 19th Century Case

Yale Law Professor Judith Resnik and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took part in the re-enactment of a 19th century Supreme Court case at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2011 Judicial Conference.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Professor Judith Resnik Recipient of Awards for Teaching and Writing

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik has been named recipient of the 2010 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Professor Judith Resnik Testifies about Access to Courts

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik testified on September 29 before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee about access to courts and the under utilization of the federal courts.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Professor Judith Resnik Named Outstanding Scholar By American Bar Foundation

Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik is the 2008 recipient of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation Outstanding Scholar Award.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Deans and Professors Oppose Graham Amendment

Letters circulated among law school deans and law school professors urge the United States Senate to strip the Graham Amendment from the Department of Defense authorization bill. The amendment would prevent federal courts from hearing habeas corpus cases from the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Both letters argue that the Graham Amendment is a grave threat to the constitutional premise of separation of powers, as it would leave executive actions in holding detainees in the war on terror free from any oversight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Professors Circulate Statement Opposing Use of Military Tribunals

Yale Law School Professors Judith Resnik and Bruce Ackerman joined with their colleagues David Cole, Georgetown University Law Center, Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks, University of Virginia School of Law, and Deena Hurwitz, University of Virginia School of Law, to circulate a statement that was signed by 450 law professors around the country urging the Supreme Court to grant review of Hamdan v.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Panel of YLS Professors to Discuss, "The Roberts Nomination: What's at Stake?" Sept. 14

On Wednesday, September 14, 2005, Yale Law School will host a discussion of the future of the U.S. Supreme Court, titled "The Roberts Nomination: What's at Stake?" The talk will start at 12:10 p.m. and run until 1:30 p.m. in Room 127.