Courtney Cahill

Chancellor's Professor of Law


Constitutional law, anti-discrimination law, reproductive rights, sex equality, LGBTQ equality


Professor Cahill is a scholar of constitutional law, anti-discrimination law, sex equality, and LGBTQ equality. Her work examines the role of disgust in lawmaking, the synergies between sex equality and LGBTQ equality, and the mutually constitutive relationship between marginal practices (same-sex marriage, alternative reproduction) and mainstream norms. Forthcoming projects include a series of essays on constitutional sex equality—including the constitutional sex equality argument for abortion—in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and a paper arguing that sex equality’s ongoing commitment to “real differences between the sexes” cannot survive LGBTQ equality.

Future projects include a book—Equality or Bust—that surfaces the vast network of laws that subject girls and women to criminal penalties for going topless in public, sometimes in the home. Equality or Bust uses these laws as an entry point to thinking more generally about what it means to outlaw women’s bodies, especially after Dobbs.

Professor Cahill is a two-time Dukeminier Award winner and has published or will be publishing in the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, and North Carolina Law Review, among other journals. She attended Yale Law School after graduating from Princeton University with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. At Princeton, she was a graduate fellow in the University Center for Human Values and a Fulbright fellow. While at Yale, she was the Chief Essays Editor for the Yale Law Journal, a Coker Fellow (for Professor Reva Siegel), and the recipient of the Colby Townsend Memorial Prize, awarded to a member of the second-year class for the best paper by a second-year student.

Sex Equality's Irreconcilable Differences, 132 Yale Law Journal (forthcoming)

Estates in Land and Future Interests: A Step-by-Step Guide (with Linda H. Edwards) (6th ed., Wolters Kluwer) (forthcoming 2022)

Reproductive Exceptionalism in and Beyond Birthrights, 100 B.U. L. Rev. Online 152 (2020)

The New Maternity, 133 Harv. L. Rev. 2221 (2020)

After Sex, 97 Neb. L. Rev. 1 (2018)

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