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Kent Greenfield to Author Supreme Court Treatises

Appointment to Moore’s Federal Practice gives constitutional scholar the ability to make his mark on SCOTUS.


Boston College Law Professor Kent Greenfield, a former Supreme Court law clerk, has been appointed as a principal author of Moore’s Federal Practice, one of the most-cited federal court practice treatises in the United States.

Greenfield was nominated to Moore’s Federal Practice by Daniel Coquillette, J. Donald Monan, SJ, University Professor at Boston College, who has served as an editor of the multi-volume treatise since 1997 and is senior advisor to the Standing Committee on Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

“Kent is one of the most important up-and-coming Supreme Court scholars,” Coquillette said, describing him as highly original and respected as someone who “thinks outside the box.” He is also widely regarded as objective and fair, which are all qualities, Coquillette added, that make him a great editor.

Greenfield succeeds former Solicitor General and Yale Law School professor Drew Days, III, as principal author of the treatise’s two volumes dedicated to the Supreme Court.

“The shoes that they are asking me to fill are huge,” said Greenfield, who himself clerked for Justice David H. Souter, is the author of three books, and is an internationally recognized scholar of constitutional and corporate law. “Drew Days is a titan in our field. I can’t take his place. My aspiration is that I will do this my own way and try to make my mark in the years to come.”

Moore’s Federal Practice is a multi-volume treatise from LexisNexis that provides text, explanations, and annotations that include legislative history and historical analysis for the federal rules of evidence, civil and criminal procedure, and appellate procedure.

Serving as a principal author is a task for which Greenfield is fully prepared. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and Brown University, he is the author of Corporations Are People Too (And They Should Act Like It) (Yale, 2018), The Myth of Choice (Yale, 2011), and The Failure of Corporate Law: Fundamental Flaws and Progressive Possibilities (Chicago, 2006).

His articles have been published in the Yale Law Journal, the Virginia Law Review, Boston College Law Review, George Washington Law Review, and Constitutional Commentary, among others. He is also frequently featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and on CNN.

“I aspire to use the treatise to help scholars and litigators understand how the Supreme Court actually works,” said Greenfield, who contends that there are still a lot of myths about the Supreme Court that differ from reality.

“The imagery or the assumptions and conventional wisdom about the Court are often different from what the facts are and how the Court works,” he observed. “One of the things that I want to do is to make sure that these volumes not only reflect what the Court says they do but also that they reflect what the Court, in fact does. So, in a way, it’s like my little truth-telling project.”