Rubenfeld Jed 1959-

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Rubenfeld Jed 1959-


Born 1959; married; children: two. Education: Princeton University, A.B., 1980; Harvard University, J.D., 1986; attended the Juilliard School.


Home—New Haven, CT. Office—Law School, Yale University, P.O. Box 208215, New Haven, CT 06520. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer and law educator. U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, law clerk for Judge Joseph T. Sneed, 1986-87; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (law firm), associate, 1987-89; U.S. Attorney's Office, New York, NY, assistant U.S. attorney, 1989-90; Yale University, New Haven, CT, associate professor, 1990-94, professor of law, 1994—.


Freedom and Time: A Theory of Constitutional Self-Government, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2001.

Revolution by Judiciary: The Structure of American Constitutional Law, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

The Interpretation of Murder: A Novel, H. Holt (New York, NY), 2006.


A professor of law with a strong liberal arts background, Jed Rubenfeld is considered to be a leading expert on the field of constitutional law. He has written several well-received books on the subject, including Freedom and Time: A Theory of Constitutional Self-Government, an exploration of how constitutionality is linked to and affected by the passage of time, and Revolution by Judiciary: The Structure of American Constitutional Law, a look into how the Constitution can be interpreted in different contexts. Writing of Freedom and Time, a contributor to the Virginia Quarterly Review remarked: "His is a remarkably creative and intelligent mind.… In itself it is a remarkable book, essential for legal, political, and moral theorists." Law and Politics Book Review writer Kyle L. Kreider described Revolution by Judiciary as "a valuable piece of scholarship on constitutional interpretation." Kreider added that "Rubenfeld presents a compelling and logical explanation of constitutional interpretation and the structure of constitutional law," and that the book "has clearly established Rubenfeld as a leading contemporary thinker in constitutional interpretation whose ideas will help shape this field for some time."

As a student at Princeton University and the Juilliard School, Rubenfeld cultivated an interest in the works of William Shakespeare and Sigmund Freud. It was Rubenfeld's wife who ultimately suggested that he write a novel incorporating his knowledge about Freud's life and teachings. One period of Freud's life struck Rubenfeld as particularly fascinating: Freud's 1909 trip to the United States that, for reasons that still remain a mystery, caused him to disparage the country and ultimately never return. Rubenfeld imagined a scenario in which Freud assists on a complex murder case, and thus the center plot of The Interpretation of Murder: A Novel was conceived. The novel follows a New York murder investigation that is assisted and complicated by Freud, his colleagues, local law enforcement, and high-society members. Rubenfeld also took the opportunity to work in direct quotations and personal interpretations of Shakespeare's play Hamlet, as well as historically accurate descriptions of early-twentieth-century New York. In an article for Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer Reese wrote: "Rubenfeld has both smarts and an admirably depraved imagination." A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that the "well-researched and thought-provoking novel is sure to be a crowd pleaser." Library Journal contributor Laurel Bliss maintained that Rubenfeld "shows great talent for psychological suspense and uses shifting viewpoints to build tension." Mel Odom, writing for BlogCritics, commented: "Rubenfeld's mastery of the subject matter, pacing, and sheer storytelling verve propels the reader into New York 1909.… The Interpretation of Murder is truly a magnificent book—sprawling, epic, and jaw-dropping all at the same time."



Entertainment Weekly, September 8, 2006, Jennifer Reese, review of The Interpretation of Murder: A Novel, p. 162.

Law and Politics Book Review, September, 2005, Kyle L. Kreider, review of Revolution by Judiciary: The Structure of American Constitutional Law, p. 867.

Library Journal, June 15, 2006, Laurel Bliss, review of The Interpretation of Murder, p. 59.

Publishers Weekly, July 10, 2006, review of The Interpretation of Murder, p. 50; July 24, 2006, Robert C. Hahn, "Freud in New York: PW Talks with Jed Rubenfeld," p. 34.

Virginia Quarterly Review, autumn, 2001, review of Freedom and Time: A Theory of Constitutional Self-Government, p. 142.


BlogCritics, (August 10, 2006), Mel Odom, review of The Interpretation of Murder.