Norman R. Williams

Ken and Claudia Peterson Professor of Law, Director of the Center for Constitutional Government, Director of the Certificate Program in Law & Government

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Contact Information

245 Winter Street SE
Salem  Oregon  97301

Norman Williams is the Ken & Claudia Peterson Professor of Law. He joined the Willamette law faculty in 2001. Williams teaches Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, Election Law, and a seminar on the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, Williams also serves as the Director of the Willamette Center for Constitutional Government.

Williams graduated summa cum laude from New York University School of Law, where he was the Senior Articles Editor of the NYU Law Review. After graduation, Williams clerked for Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. From 1996 to 2001, he practiced in New York City at Mayer, Brown & Platt. A member of the firm's U.S. Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Group, Williams handled numerous appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, and various state appellate courts.

A nationally renowned scholar of both the presidential election process and the scope of federal and state authority under the federal Commerce Clause, Williams has published numerous law review articles in leading law reviews, such as the Stanford Law Review, New York University Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, and Notre Dame Law Review, among others. He is also the recipient of the Robert Misner Award for Faculty Scholarship.

In addition to his administrative and teaching responsibilities, Williams serves on several charitable boards and is regularly interviewed by national media outlets, including the New York Times. He is a former President of the Oregon Law Foundation, and he currently serves on several Oregon state bar committees.

SSRN Author Page


  • JD, New York University, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • BA, Harvard University, magna cum laude

Books, Chapters and Contributions

  • "Nixon v. United States," in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES (Macmillan Gale, David S. Tanenhaus ed., 2008).
  • "State Sovereignty," in THE OXFORD INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LEGAL HISTORY (Oxford University Press, Stanley N. Katz, ed., 2008).
  • Teacher's Manual for Breyer, Stewart, Sunstein, and Vermeule, Administrative Law and Regulatory Policy: Problems, Texts and Cases (6th ed. 2006).

Law Review Articles

  • "One Person, One Vote and the National Party Conventions" (work in progress)
  • "Reforming the Electoral College: Federalism, Majoritarianism, and the Perils of Sub-Constitutional Change," 100 Georgetown L.J._(forthcoming 2011)
  • "Legislative Redistricting in Oregon: A Primer," 71 Or. St. Bar Bulletin 27 (Feb/Mar. 2011).
  • Book Review, "Gibbons v. Ogden, Law, Society in the Early Republic," 50 American Journal of Legal History_(forthcoming 2011)
  • "The New Protectionism and the American Common Market," 85 Notre Dame L. Rev. 247 (2009) (co-authored with Brannon Denning).
  • "Direct Democracy, The Guaranty Clause and the Politics of the Political Question Doctrine: Revisiting Pacific Telephone," 87 Oregon L. Rev. 979 (2009).
  • "The Foundations of the American Common Market," 84 Notre Dame L. Rev. 409 (2008).
  • "Taking Care of Ourselves: State Citizenship, the Market, and the State," 69 Ohio St. L.J. 469 (2008).
  • "The Commerce Clause and the Myth of Dual Federalism," 54 UCLA L. Rev. 1847 (2007).
  • "Executive Review in the Fragmented Executive: State Constitutionalism and Same-Sex Marriage," 154 U. Penn. L. Rev. 565 (2006).
  • "Why Congress May Not 'Overrule' the Dormant Commerce Clause," 53 UCLA L. Rev. 153 (2005).
  • "The Dormant Commerce Clause: Why Gibbons v. Ogden Should Be Restored to the Canon," 49 St. Louis Univ. L. J. 817 (2005).
  • "The People's Constitution," 57 Stanford L. Rev. 257 (2004).
  • "Gibbons," 79 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1398 (2004).
  • "The Failings of Originalism: The Federal Courts and the Power of Precedent," 37 U.C. Davis. L. Rev. 761 (2004).
  • "Suburbanization and Market Failure: An Analysis of Government Policies Promoting Suburban Growth and Ethnic Assimilation," 27 Fordham Urb. L. J. 197 (Oct. 1999) (coauthored with William E. Nelson).
  • "Rising Above Factionalism: A Madisonian Theory of Judicial Review," 69 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 963 (Oct.-Nov. 1994).

Other Writings

  • "Legislative Redistricting in Oregon: A Primer," 71 Or. St. Bar Bulletin 26 (Feb./Mar. 2011)
  • "Healthcare Reform and the Constitution," Op-ed, Oregonian , February 15, 2011.
  • "Taking the Foxes out of the Legislative Henhouse," Op-ed, Oregonian, January 28, 2011.
  • "The Immigration Debate: One (Mexican) American's View," Op-ed, Oregonian , May 15, 2006.
  • "Special Trial Judges after Ballard: A Call for Reform," Tax Notes, May 23, 2005, p.1033.
  • "The U.S. Tax Court: A Return to Fair and Transparent Proceedings," in For the District of Oregon, a quarterly newsletter of the Oregon chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Summer 2005.
  • "People's Law," Op-ed, Oregonian , March 17, 2004.
Willamette University

Faculty Support

College of Law
245 Winter Street SE
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
(503) 370-6405

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