Nelson Tebbe

Professor of Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7960 |  Email  | CV
Areas of Expertise

Constitutional Law
Law and Religion
Professional Ethics

A.B., Brown University
J.D., Yale Law School
Ph.D., The University of Chicago Divinity School

Professor Nelson Tebbe Comments on Religious Freedom in Wake of Marriage Equality Decision


The historic U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, has raised questions of the role and limits of religious freedom and the law. Professor Nelson Tebbe, a nationally recognized expert on Constitutional Law, Law and Religion, and Professional Ethics, is being widely sought after to provide commentary on the decision as it related to religion and the constitution.

Professor Nelson Tebbe quoted extensively on Religious Freedom Restoration Act


Professor Nelson Tebbe, an expert on law and religion, has been a prominent commentator in national media coverage of the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) recently signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Professor Nelson Tebbe Co-authors Slate Op-ed


Professor Nelson Tebbe co-authored an op-ed titled "Utah 'Compromise' to Protect LGBT Citizens From Discrimination Is No Model for the Nation" that appeared on Slate March 18, 2015.

Professor Tebbe Testifies Before the House on Religious Freedom Restoration Act


At the U.S. House Committee on Constitution and Civil Justice hearing on February 13, Professor Nelson Tebbe presented testimony on questions of religious freedom and equality law.

Professor Tebbe Co-authors New York Times Op-ed “A License to Say Anything?”


Professor Nelson Tebbe co-authored an op-ed titled “A License to Say Anything?” that appeared in the Jan. 9, 2015 New York Times.

Professor Nelson Tebbe Plays Role in Historic Order on LGBT Equality

Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order expanding protections for federal workers and contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The historic order follows recent urgent recommendations by Professor Nelson Tebbe and other legal scholars to resist requests for broad religious exemptions.

Professor Nelson Tebbe on Hobby Lobby Ruling in New York Daily News Op-Ed

In a New York Daily News op-ed, Professor Nelson Tebbe criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which will allow businesses to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate on the grounds of religious freedom.

Professor Nelson Tebbe on Religious Neutrality in Balkinization Op-Ed

In a recent op-ed in Balkinization, Professor Nelson Tebbe, along with Professors Richard Schragger and Micah Schwartzman of the University of Virginia School of Law, discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Town of Greece v. Galloway and its potential repercussions on religious freedom.

Professor Nelson Tebbe on Supreme Court Oral Arguments for Birth Control Mandate


As a guest blogger for Balkinization, Professor Nelson Tebbe wrote about yesterday’s oral arguments in U.S. Supreme Court for Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The highly publicized case challenges the requirement that most employers provide comprehensive contraceptive coverage in their employee health insurance plans. At issue is whether for-profit corporations can have rights of religious conscience.

Professor Nelson Tebbe on Birth Control Mandate in Slate Op-Ed, Blog Series

In a recent op-ed for Slate, Professor Nelson Tebbe dissected media coverage of "off the wall" constitutional arguments – specifically, the “lopsided” story in the New York Times on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The case, one of two that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear, challenges the requirement that most employers provide contraceptive coverage in their employee health insurance plans.

Professor Nelson Tebbe Featured as Frequent Commentator on Constitutional Law and Religious Freedom Issues

Recent headlines have brought constitutional law and religious freedom into sharp focus. As one of the country’s foremost experts in these areas, Professor Nelson Tebbe has been frequently called upon to share his expertise.

Professor Nelson Tebbe Comments on DOMA Case Before the Supreme Court


Professor Nelson Tebbe spoke to Law360 about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the growing possibility that the Supreme Court will decide on its constitutionality. Federal circuit courts have already deemed it unconstitutional, in particular Section 3, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Professor Nelson Tebbe Comments on Muslim Discrimination Case Against NYPD


In a recent report by New Jersey Public Radio, Professor Nelson Tebbe commented on a suit recently filed by Muslim Advocates against the NYPD. The group claims that the NYPD's surveillance program targeting Muslim Americans in the New York area violates the 1st and 14th Amendments, regarding equal protection and free exercise of religion.

Professor Nelson Tebbe Argues for Same-Sex Marriage in UPenn Law Review


In the latest issue of PENNumbra, a project of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Professor Nelson Tebbe with Professor Deborah A. Widiss from the Indiana University School of Law, present a nuanced argument defending same-sex marriage. Their statement expands on their article published earlier this year "Equal Access and the Right to Marry." A rebuttal is presented by Professor Shannon Gilreath of Wake Forest University.

Professor Nelson Tebbe on Landmark Prop 8 Decision

Professor Nelson Tebbe spoke with attorney and co-host Bob Ambrogi about the the landmark decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which overturned California's controversial Proposition 8. With Professor Adam Winkler from UCLA Law School and Thomas J. Barbar, Family Law Chair of the Mass Bar Association, Professor Tebbe explored reactions to the ruling and the legal issues surrounding gay marriage.

Professor Nelson Tebbe and the BLS Summer Law Institute Profiled by ABC News

During the summer of 2010, Brooklyn Law School hosted a five-week legal education Summer Law Institute for rising 9th-grade students from all five boroughs. Taught by BLS students Robert Kornblum '11 and Taemin Sohn '12, the classes focused on criminal justice and trial procedure. ABC Eye Witness News profiled the Summer Law Institute and spoke to Professor Nelson Tebbe, who taught the students about criminal law and was also Kornblum’s criminal law professor. Tebbe told Art McFarland, the ABC News reporter, that he hoped the students would "feel what it's like to be a lawyer” and “get a sense of what they could do with their skills professionally.”

Professor Tebbe Quoted in New York Times


In the days before the 2009 election, registered voters of City Council 34 received prerecorded calls from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the Roman Catholic bishop of Brooklyn, praising City Council candidate Vito J. Lopez. While the message did not instruct New Yorkers to vote for the bishop’s preferred candidate, it did walk along a fine line that limits nonprofit organizations, which have tax-exempt status, from advocating particular politicians. Professor Nelson Tebbe, an expert on religion and the Constitution, told the New York Times, “There are constitutional rules and I.R.S. rules, and the I.R.S. rules are really more pertinent here.”