Carl H. Esbeck is the R.B. Price and Isabelle Wade & Paul C. Lyda Professor of Law at the University of Missouri. After serving as an editor on the Cornell Law Review, he held a clerkship with the Honorable Howard C. Bratton, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in New Mexico. For five years Professor Esbeck practiced law in the firm of Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb in New Mexico, where he was an equity partner when he left for academia.
He has published widely in the area of religious liberty and church-state relations. Professor Esbeck is recognized as the progenitor of "Charitable Choice," an integral part of the 1996 Federal Welfare Reform Act, later made a part of additional federal social-service programs and executive orders under Presidents Bush and Obama. And he has taken a lead in recognizing that the modern Supreme Court has often applied the establishment clause as if it were a structural limitation on the government's authority in explicitly religious matters. While on leave from 1999 to 2002, Professor Esbeck directed the Center for Law & Religious Freedom (CLRF) and then served as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. While directing the CLRF, Professor Esbeck was a central part of the congressional advocacy behind the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). At the Department of Justice one of his duties was to direct a task force to remove barriers to the equal-treatment of faith-based organizations applying for social service grants.
Professor Esbeck teaches Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Religious Liberty & Church-State Relations, and Constitutional & Civil Liberties Litigation.
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