Professor of Law
Kathryn Kovacs
Rutgers Law School
217 N 5th St
Camden, NJ 08102

Kathryn Kovacs joined the faculty in 2011 after 12 years in the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division where she wrote more than 100 appellate and Supreme Court briefs and argued more than 60 appeals. She also served as Senior Advisor in the Department of the Interior. She teaches administrative law, natural resources law and property.


  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Expertise

Professor Kovacs is currently on leave serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

At Rutgers, Professor Kovacs teaches Administrative Law, Natural Resources Law, Environmental Law, and Property. She writes about the Administrative Procedure Act, presidential power, and wildlife law.

Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty in 2011, she spent twelve years in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, Appellate Section.  She wrote more than 100 appellate and Supreme Court briefs and argued more than sixty appeals in all thirteen of the federal circuit courts of appeals, twice en banc, and in three state supreme courts. Her cases covered a wide range of areas including environmental, administrative, and constitutional law, both civil and criminal.  

In 2016, Professor Kovacs served as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Bureau of Land Management in the U.S. Department of the Interior. She also spent three years litigating primarily constitutional claims as an attorney in the Baltimore City Law Department, and she clerked for the Honorable Robert C. Murphy, former Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Professor Kovacs is a cum laude graduate of Yale University and the Georgetown University Law Center.  





From Presidential Administration to Bureaucratic Dictatorship, 135 Harv. L. Rev. F. 104 (2021) (invited response).

Introduction to The Bremer-Kovacs Collection: Historic Documents Related to the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 (Emily S. Bremer, Co-Author), 106 Minn. L. Rev. Headnotes (forthcoming).

The Origins of Federal Wildlife Regulation under the Commerce Clause, 45 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. Online 1 (2021).

Avoiding Authoritarianism in the Administrative Procedure Act, 28 G.M.U. L. Rev. 573 (2021) (invited symposium contribution).

The Supersecretary in Chief, 94 S. Cal. L. Rev. P.S. 61 (2020).

Constraining the Statutory President, 98 Wash. U. L. Rev. 62 (forthcoming 2020).

Progressive Textualism in Administrative Law, 118 Mich. L. Rev. Online 134 (2020).

Shifting Powers in the United States Government, Public Law, Jan. 2020, at 25 (peer reviewed U.K. journal).

Rules About Rulemaking and the Rise of the Unitary Executive, 70 Admin. L. Rev. 515 (2018).

Scalia's Bargain, 77 Ohio St. L.J. 1155 (2016).

Pixelating Administrative Common Law in Mortgage Bankers, 124 Yale L.J. F. 31 (2015).

Abandoning Administrative Common Law in Mortgage Bankers, 95 B.U. L. Rev. Annex 1 (2015).

Hobby Lobby and the Zero-Sum Game, 92 Wash. U. L. Rev. 255 (2014).

Superstatute Theory and Administrative Common Law, 90 Indiana L.J. 1207(2015).  

Eagles, Indian Tribes, and the Free Exercise of Religion, 47 Loyola L.A. L. Rev. 53 (2013).

Leveling the Deference Playing Field, 90 Oregon L. Rev. 583 (2011).

A History of the Military Authority Exception in the Administrative Procedure Act, 62 Admin. L. Rev. 673 (2010).   

Revealing Redundancy: The Collision Between Federal Sovereign Immunity and Nonstatutory Review, 54 Drake L. Rev. 77 (Fall 2005), republished in Chinese in 29 Admin. Action and Admin. Litig. 510 (2008).   

Accepting the Relegation of Taking Claims to State Courts: The Federal Courts’ Misguided Attempts to Avoid Preclusion under Williamson County, 26 Ecology Law Quarterly1(1999).   

Recognizing Gay and Lesbian Families: Marriage and Parental Rights, 5 Tulane Journal of Law and Sexuality 513 (1995).


Introduction to Symposium on Racism in Administrative Law, Yale J. on Reg.: Notice & Comment (July 13, 2020), (initiated and organized symposium).

Opinion: Congress can rein in the power of the presidency by amending 1 single law, Newark Star-Ledger & (June 1, 2020),

The National Defense of Hamburgers, American Constitution Society Blog (May 5, 2020),

Fomenting Authoritarianism Through Rules About Rulemaking, in The Frontiers of Public Law 429 (Jason N.E. Varuhas & Shona Wilson Stark, eds., 2019).

Brief of Amici Curiae Takings and Federal Courts Scholars in Support of Respondents, Knick v. Township of Scott, No. 17-647 (U.S. Aug. 6, 2018).

Goldberg v. Kelly, in Leading Cases in Administrative Law (forthcoming).

Did the Dissent in Gundy v. United States Open Up a Can of Worms? American Constitution Society Blog (June 24, 2019),

Climate Change is the Most Important Issue in Administrative Law, 36 Yale J. on Reg.: Notice & Comment (June 19, 2019),

In the Supreme Court: Deference to Agency Interpretations of Their Own Rules, American Constitution Society Blog (March 19, 2019), acsblog/in-the-supreme-court-deference-to-agency-interpretations-of-their-own-rules/.

A Day in the Life of an Administrative Law Nerd, 36 Yale J. on Reg.: Notice & Comment (Oct. 29, 2018),

Getting Agencies Back Into the Game, The Regulatory Review (Oct. 29, 2018),

Trump v. Hawaii: A Run of the Mill Administrative Law Case, 36 Yale J. on Reg.: Notice & Comment (May 3, 2018),

Getting Back to the Basics with Agency Rulemaking, The Regulatory Review (Nov. 13, 2017),

A Wolf in Sheep’s Skin, The Regulatory Review (June 8, 2017),

Courses Taught
  • Administrative Law
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Environmental Law
  • Indian Law
  • Religion (Law &)