Kevin W. Saunders

Kevin W. SaundersProfessor of Law & The Charles Clarke Chair in Constitutional Law
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 353
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

  • Biography

    After a distinguished career as a mathematics educator, Professor Saunders turned his attention to the law. He graduated with high honors from the University of Michigan Law School in 1984, then clerked for the Honorable Kenneth Starr, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He followed with assistant professorships at the University of Arkansas and the University of Oklahoma. During his 16-year tenure at Oklahoma, he rose through the ranks to become a full professor and to serve on the faculties of the graduate school, the College of Liberal Studies, and Film and Video Studies. He was the recipient of four awards at that institution, including the 2001 Regents' Award for Superior Accomplishment in Research and Creative Activity. He also served as Visiting James Madison Chair and Interim Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Drake University.

    Professor Saunders is the author of five books: Violence as Obscenity: Limiting the Media's First Amendment Protection (Duke University Press, 1996), Saving Our Children from the First Amendment (New York University Press,  2003),  Degradation: What the History of Obscenity Tells Us about Hate Speech (New York University Press 2011), Model Problems and Outstanding Answers: Constitutional Law, (Oxford University Press, 2013) (co-authored with Prof. Michael A. Lawrence), and Free Expression and Democracy: A Comparative Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 2017). He has authored dozens of book chapters, law review articles, and commentaries in legal and popular periodicals. He has taught or lectured at universities in the United Kingdom, France, Poland, Lithuania and Spain. He has also authored or co-authored briefs in federal courts, including twice in the Supreme Court.

    He serves as the Charles Clarke Chair in Constitutional Law and teaches Constitutional Law and Comparative Free Expression. Professor Saunders is a member of the Order of the Coif.

  • Degrees

    J.D. with high honors 1984, University of Michigan; M.S. 1970; MA, 1976; and PhD 1978, University of Miami; A.B. 1968, Franklin and Marshall College

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses

    Comparative Free Expression
    This course may be taught in either a lecture or seminar format. When taught as a lecture course it is case based. A number of topics in free expression are examined to see how they are differently treated in various democratic states. When taught as a seminar, there will be readings that will be discussed as a class in the first half of the course. Students will also research a topic involving free expression and its treatment in selected countries. In the second half of the course, papers the students develop will be presented to the class.

    Constitutional Law II
    (Formerly DCL 172) A study of procedural and substantive due process of law, equal protection of the laws and the Bill of Rights, including freedom of expression.

    King Scholars Jurisprudence
    (Formerly DCL 359) Prerequisite: King Scholar A course in jurisprudence available to King Scholars as part of the King Scholarship Program. Students entering with a King Scholarship must enroll for the King Scholars Jurisprudence class during their third semester at the Law College. Matriculating students receiving a King Scholarship must enroll for the King Scholars Jurisprudence class in their next regular semester.

    King Scholars Seminar
    (Formerly DCL 404) Students who have a King Scholarship must enroll for the King Scholars Senior Paper course in their last regular semester at the Law College.

    Perspectives on Law for King Scholars
    (Formerly DCL 602) This course is a one credit course open only to first year King Scholars. It will be taught in the second semester, when first year students have one less credit than the first, and is an attempt to add first year content of the King Scholars Program. The course will consist of one hour per week sessions in a book discussion format. The books assigned will provide perspectives on the law not regularly provided in the curriculum. For example, for Spring 2005 the book of Carl Bogus's "Why Lawsuits are Good for America" will be used. Books will change from year to year.

  • Bar Admission(s)

    District of Columbia, Michigan