Samuel A. Marcosson

Professor of Law


Professor Marcosson graduated from Yale Law School in 1986. After clerking for Judge George C. Pratt on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, he joined the appellate staff at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C., where he spent the next eight years briefing and arguing cases in the federal courts of appeals. During that time, Professor Marcosson also helped to design and conduct the EEOC's training program for its employees after enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act before it went into effect in 1992.

Since joining the faculty, Professor Marcosson's research and writing has concentrated on constitutional law (especially the Fourteenth Amendment), and the civil rights issues facing lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Lesbian and Gay Legal Association, and was the programming coordinator for its annual conference in 1998.  From 2008-2014, Professor Marcosson served on the Coordinating Committee of the Fairness Campaign, Louisville's long-standing LGBT civil rights organization. In 2013, he began service on the Kentucky State Advisory Committee for the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

In 2002, Professor Marcosson published the book, Original Sin: Clarence Thomas and the Failure of the Constitutional Conservatives. It takes a critical look at the record of the Supreme Court's most conservative members, examining whether they have been consistent in applying their "originalist" method of constitutional interpretation, especially in the landmark case deciding the presidential election of 2000.

From 2004-2006, he served as the School of Law's Associate Dean for Student Life.  From 2005 through 2011-12, Professor Marcosson chaired the law school's Admissions Committee. Professor Marcosson teaches Constitutional Law, Sexual Orientation and the Law, Employment Discrimination and Criminal Law.

Constitutional Law

Criminal Law

Employment Discrimination

Sexual Orientation and the Law

The Special Status of Religion Under the First Amendment ... and What it Means For Gay Rights and Anti-Discrimination Laws in Moral Argument, Religion, and Same-Sex Marriage: Advancing the Public Good, (Book Chapter) (2009).

UofL's Domestic Partner Benefits Do Not Violate the State Constitution's Marriage Amendment, The Courier-Journal, February 22, 2007 (Op-Ed).

Client Counseling as an Ethical Obligation: Advising Employers Before They Discriminate, N. Ky. L. Rev. 221 (2006).

Of Square Pegs and Round Holes: The Supreme Court’s Ongoing “Title VII-ization” of the Americans with Disabilities Act, J. Gender Race & Just. 361 (2004).

Multiplicities of Subordination: The Challenge of Real Inter-Group Conflicts of Interest, UMKC L. Rev. 459 (2002).

Constructive Immutability, U. Pa. J. Const. L. 646 (2001).

Colorizing the Constitution of Originalism: Clarence Thomas at the Rubicon, Law & Ineq. 429 (1998).

Romer and the Limits of Legitimacy: Stripping Opponents of Gay and Lesbian Rights of Their “First Line of Defense” in the Same-Sex Marriage Fight, 24 J. Contemp. L. 217 (1998).

The Lesson of the Same-Sex Marriage Trial: The Importance of Pushing Opponents of Lesbian and Gay Rights to Their “Second Line of Defense”, 35 J. Fam. L. 721 (1997).

Contraception and The Affordable Care Act — The Supreme Court's Decision in Hobby Lobby, Kentucky Tonight, July 28, 2014 (original air date).

Liberty and Justice For All? Views of Religious Liberty in Our National Landscape, A Panel on the State of Religious Liberty & Extremism, Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, KY, July 6, 2014.

The Defense of Marriage Act and The Supreme Court, Continuing Legal Education Program, Louisville Bar Association, November 8, 2013.

Prevention v. Prosecution: HIV is Not a Crime, A Panel on The Criminalization of HIV, Louisville Metro Department of Health & Wellness, October 2, 2013.

The Use of Race in Undergraduate Admissions Decisions, A Debate with Prof. James Blumstein on Fisher v. University of Texas, University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law, November 8, 2012.

The Beginning of the End of Affirmative Action?, A Panel on Fisher v. University of Texas, University of Kentucky College of Law, October 24, 2012.

The Supreme Court and Health Care: Possibilities and Implications, A Forum on the Affordable Care Act and the Decision in Sebelius, Louisville Metro Democratic Club, June 13, 2012.

The 20-Year Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, A Debate with Professor Scott Gerber, Ohio Northern University Petit College of Law, February 23, 2012.

Does the Patriot Act Draw the Right Balance Between Liberty, and Security?, A Debate with Professor Nathan Sales, University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law, September 8, 2011.

Christian Legal Society v. Martinez: Balancing Freedom of Religion, and Discrimination, A Debate with Dr. Bruce Frohnen, University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law, September 16, 2010.

I Was in The Right Case, But It Must Have Been the Wrong Time: The Ill-Timed Challenge to California's Ban on Same-Sex Marriages, Bradley University Current Issues Speaker Series, October 5, 2009.

The Founders' Precedent: Constitutional Transformation, Constitution Day Speech to the Kentucky Chapters of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, September 19, 2009.

Constitutional Issues Surrounding Same-Sex Marriage>, A Debate with Prof. Paul Salamanca, Transylvania University, September 17, 2009.


What We Did (and Didn't) Learn From the Sotomayor Hearings: Where Angels Fear to Tread, Bellarmine University Constitution Day Speech, September 17, 2009.

Constitutional Interpretation: A Debate on Originalism, A Debate With Prof. John McGinnis, Federalist Society, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, September 1, 2009.

The Constitution, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Modern Age, A Debate With Prof. John Baker on Same-Sex Marriage, Federalist Society, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, February 9, 2009.

Extreme Makeover 2008: What the Selling of Sarah Palin Tells Us About ... Us, Women's and Gender Studies Lecture Series, University of Louisville, October 29, 2008.

Should George W. Bush Be Impeached?, Carl Braden Memorial Center, Louisville, Ky., March 24, 2008.

Testimony on S.B. 152 (to bar public agencies from offering domestic partner health insurance benefits), Kentucky General Assembly, House Committee on Health and Welfare, Frankfort, Ky, March 1, 2007, March 6, 2007.

Testimony on the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, Washington, D.C., November 10, 2005.

Should Clarence Thomas Be Chief Justice?, Online debate with Professor Stephen Presser in Legal Affairs, January 3-7, 2005.