Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
University Library DePaul Library

Scholarship Showcase - Stephen Siegel: Home

Photo portrait of Professor Siegel Emeritus Professor Stephen Siegel Professor Siegel's primary research interest is American legal history, though he also is highly regarded in the areas of property and constitutional law. His articles have appeared in leading law journals, including law reviews published by Texas, Virginia and Southern California. He also published studies of jurisprudence and affirmative action as lead articles in the law reviews of Iowa and Northwestern and in the Law & History Review.

Click on a work to access a full text version of the article.

Overarching Theme “My work is dedicated to the insight that law, everything about law, ceaselessly evolves as the society which law serves evolves.” Linked Themes Evolution of Legal Doctrines A few of my articles illustrate the evolution of legal doctrines, particularly in constitutional law and the supposedly static area of property law. These articles include: The Origin of the Compelling State Interest Test and Strict Scrutiny, 48 Am. J. Leg. Hist. 355 (2006). John Chipman Gray, Legal Formalism, and the Transformation of Perpetuities Law, 36 U. Miami L. Rev. 439 (1982) Is the Modern Lease a Conveyance or a Contract?—A Historical Analysis, 52 J. of Urban L. 649 (1975) The Evolving Nature of Law A few of my articles illustrate that when I say everything about law evolves, I mean everything, even the very process of “thinking like a lawyer.” These articles include: Francis Wharton’s Orthodoxy: God, Historical Jurisprudence, and Classical Legal Thought, 46 Am. J. Leg. Hist. 422 (2004) Historism in Late Nineteenth Century Constitutional Thought, 1990 Wis. L. Rev. 1431 The Aristotelian Basis of English Law, 1450-1800, 56 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 18 (1981) The Vogue for Originalism in Constitutional Law: Impossible A few of my articles illustrate that because everything in law evolves, the vogue for originalism in constitutional law is both impossible and undesirable. These articles include: Textualism on Trial: Article III’s Jury Trial Provision, The “Petty Crime” Exception, and Other Departures From Clear Constitutional Text,51 Hous. L. Rev. 89 (2013). The Constitution on Trial: Article III’s Jury Trial Provision, Originalism, and the Problem of Motivated Reasoning, 52 Santa Clara L. Rev. 373 (2012). The Federal Government's Power to Enact Color-Conscious Laws: An Originalist Analysis, 92 Nw. U. L. Rev. 477 (1998).

Click on a work to access a full text version of the article.

Articles & Chapters Textualism on Trial: Article III’s Jury Trial Provision, the 'Petty Offense' Exception, and Other Departures from Clear Constitutional Text, 51 Hous. L. Rev. 89 (2013). The Constitution on Trial: Article III’s Jury Trial Provision, Originalism, and the Problem of Motivated Reasoning, 52 Santa Clara L. Rev. 373 (2012). Injunctions for Defamation, Juries, and the Clarifying Light of 1868, 56 Buff. L. Rev. (2008). The Origin of the Compelling State Interest Test and Strict Scrutiny, 48 Am. J. Legal His. 355 (2006). Justice Holmes, Buck V. Bell, and the History of Equal Protection, 90 Minn. L. Rev. 106 (2005). Francis Wharton's Orthodoxy: God, Historical Jurisprudence, and Classical Legal Thought, 46 Am. J. Legal Hist. 422 (2004). The Conscientious Congressman's Guide to the Electoral Count Act of 1887, 56 Fla. L. Rev. 541 (2004). The Revision Thickens, 20 Law & Hist. Rev. 631 (2002). John Chipman Gray and the Moral Basis of Classical Legal Thought, 86 Iowa L. Rev. 1513 (2001). The Federal Government's Power to Enact Color-Conscious Laws: An Originalist Inquiry, 92 Nw. U. L. Rev. 477 (1998). Joel Bishop's Orthodoxy, 13 Law & Hist. Rev. 215 (1995). Lochner Era Jurisprudence and the American Constitutional Tradition, 70 N.C. L. Rev. 1 (1991). Historism in Late Nineteenth Century Constitutional Thought, 1990 Wis. L. Rev. 1431 (1990). Understanding the Nineteenth Century Contract Clause: The Role of the Property-Privilege Distinction and "Takings" Clause Jurisprudence, 60 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1 (1986). Understanding the Lochner Era: Lessons from the Controversy over Railroad and Utility Rate Regulation, 70 Va. L. Rev. 187 (1984). The Aristotelian Basis of English Law, 1450-1800, 56 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 18 (1981). The Future of Classified Real Property Taxation in Illinois: The Wake of Hoffman v. Clark, 11 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 21 (1979). Illinois Zoning: On the Verge of a New Era, 25 DePaul L. Rev. 616 (1976). Is The Modern Lease a Contract or a Conveyance?--A Historical Inquiry, 52 J. Urb. L. 649 (1975). The Death and Rebirth of the Clear and Present Danger Test, in Transformations in American Legal History: Essays in Honor of Professor Morton J. Horwitz (Daniel W. Hamilton & Alfred L. Brophy eds., 2009).

Accomplishments “Stephen Siegel’s article, ‘Historism in Late NineteenthCentury Constitutional Thought,’ was the first and remains the
most significant work in redirecting attention to the historical
orientation of classical legal thought.” “Stephen Siegel did more than any other scholar to emphasize the centrality of history in late nineteenth-century American legal thought and set forth in substantial and convincing detail the extent to which evolutionary theories, typically tied to nation and race, permeated the work of major scholars in both public and private law.” From David M. Rabban, Law’s History: American Legal Thought and the Transatlantic Turn to History, (2013). Professor Siegel created the position of Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship and Faculty Development. He served as the inaugural dean from 2001—2009.

In 2020, his article, The Conscientious Congressman's Guide to the Electoral Count Act of 1887 received intense attention from every sector of American public discourse--- from the rarefied community of American legal scholars to the vast mainstream  of  media political commentators and even to online pundits representing the far left and the far right. Recognizing the special gravity of this article, we have a separate exhibit honoring it: