Laura Weinrib is the Fred N. Fishman Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, a Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a faculty affiliate of the Harvard University Department of History. A legal historian, she studies how social movements have transformed constitutional categories to pursue political and economic change. She is the author of The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise (Harvard University Press, 2016), which traces the emergence during the first half of the 20th century of a constitutional and court-centered concept of civil liberties as a defining feature of American democracy.
While at Radcliffe, Weinrib is working on a new book project on the legal history of money in politics in the United States. Drawing on the records of business lobbyists, labor unions, and the lawyers that represented them, it argues that the corporations that beat back restrictions on lobbying and campaign contributions during the 20th century through advocacy and litigation were part of a broader coalition that also included organized labor. By targeting unions, legislators inadvertently forged an awkward anti-regulatory alliance that sought to recast campaign spending as an emblem of solidarity and a bulwark of freedom.
Weinrib holds a JD from Harvard Law School, a PhD in history from Princeton University, and an AB in literature and AM in comparative literature from Harvard University. Before joining the Harvard Law School faculty in 2019, she was a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School.