Distinguished Professor of Law and Sidney Reitman Scholar Emeritus
James Pope
Rutgers Law School
S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Before joining Rutgers in 1986, James Gray Pope worked in a shipyard and represented labor unions at the Boston law firm of Segal, Roitman & Coleman. He has a doctorate in politics from Princeton and specializes in constitutional law, constitutional theory, and labor law.

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Expertise

Professor Pope received an A.B. and J.D. from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton. From 1974 to 1980, he worked in the metal trades and was an active member of the International Association of Machinists and the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers. After law school, he clerked for Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird of the California Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty in 1986, he was associated with the Boston law firm of Segal, Roitman & Coleman, where he represented labor unions and workers.

Professor Pope is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and serves on the Executive Council of the Rutgers AAUP/AFT (AFL-CIO). His articles about workers’ rights, constitutional law, and labor history have appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Columbia Law ReviewLaw & History Review, the Michigan Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Texas Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, Labor HistoryNew Labor Forum (with Peter Kellman & Ed Bruno), and Working USA (also with Kellman & Bruno). 



"Section 1 of the Thirteenth Amendment and the Badges and Incidents of Slavery" in the U.C.L.A. Law Review (65 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 426-86, 2018)

"Why Is There No Socialism in the United States?  Law and the Racial Divide in the American Working Class, 1676-1964" in the Texas Law Review (94 Tex. L. Rev. 1555-90, 2016)

"The Thirteenth Amendment at the Intersection of Class and Gender:  Robertson v. Baldwin’s Exclusion of Infants, Lunatics, Women, and Seamen" in the Seattle Law Review (39 Seattle L. Rev. 901-26, 2016)

“Snubbed Landmark: Why United States v. Cruikshank (1876) Belongs at the Heart of the American Constitutional Canon” in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (49 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 385-447, 2014)

“What’s Different About the Thirteenth Amendment, and Why Does It Matter?” in the Maryland Law Review (71 Md. L. Rev. 189, 2011)

“Contract, Race, and Freedom of Labor in the Constitutional Law of ‘Involuntary Servitude’” in the Yale Law Journal (119 Yale L.J. 1474, 2010)

“‘We Are Already Dead’: The Thirteenth Amendment and the Fight for Workers’ Rights After EFCA” in the National Lawyers Guild Review (67 Nat’l L. Guild Rev. 110-24, 2010)

“A Free Labor Approach to Human Trafficking” in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review (158 U. PA. L. Rev., 1849, 2010)

Book Chapters 

“Worker Lawmaking, Sit-Down Strikes, and the Shaping of American Industrial Relations, 1935-1939” in Kenneth M. Casebeer, Ed., American Labor Struggles and Law Histories 271-301 (2011).

“The Toledo Auto-Lite Strike of 1934 and the Fight against ’Wage Slavery’” (second author, with Rebecca E. Zietlow) in Kenneth M. Casebeer, Ed., American Labor Struggles and Law Histories 271-301 (2011).

“The Workers’ Freedom of Association Under the Thirteenth Amendment, Then and Now” in The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment (Alexander Tsesis, ed.) (Columbia University Press, 2010)

“Labor and Employment Law – United States Law” in 3 Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History (Stanley Katz, ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2009) 


Many of Professor Pope’s publications may be downloaded from his SSRN page.

Courses Taught
  • Constitutional Law
  • Labor Law