David S. Schwartz

Foley & Lardner Bascom Professor of Law

Professor Schwartz is on a leave of absence for the Spring 2022 semester.

Schwartz, David S.


Room 9108, Law School

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B.A., M.A., Yale University
J.D., Yale Law School


Professor David S. Schwartz teaches and writes in the areas of Constitutional Law, Evidence and Civil Procedure.  His scholarship includes articles published in the Georgetown, Notre Dame, and University of Pennsylvania law reviews, and he has co-authored two casebooks:  Constitutional Law: a Context and Practice Casebook (with Lori A. Ringhand) (Carolina Academic Press, 2nd ed. 2017), and An Analytical Approach to Evidence: Text, Problems and Cases (with Allen, Swift, Pardo & Stein) (Wolters Kluwer, 6th ed. 2016). His book, The Spirit of The Constitution: John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland was published by Oxford University Press in September 2019.

Professor Schwartz is a two-time recipient of the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award, in 2004 and 2013. He has also taught Remedies, Civil Rights Litigation and Employment Law.

His public service has included drafting and filing amicus curiae briefs on employee and consumer rights issues in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Wisconsin and Illinois Supreme Courts, and a constitutional opinion letter on domestic partnerships for Wisconsin Governor James Doyle.  His scholarship on the Federal Arbitration Act and employment law has been cited in 17 judicial opinions, including cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the California Supreme Court. Professor Schwartz also testified before Congress on the Federal Arbitration Act and helped draft the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.

Professor Schwartz joined the UW law faculty in fall 1999, after 12 years of law practice specializing in employment discrimination and civil rights litigation.  For the three years just prior to joining the Law School, Prof. Schwartz was Senior Staff Attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, in Los Angeles.  Previously, Prof. Schwartz was in private practice in San Francisco, representing plaintiffs in employment cases. After graduating law school, Prof. Schwartz clerked for the Honorable Betty B. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Scholarship & Publications


Law Repository

Research Interests

  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Procedure
  • Evidence


  • David Schwartz presented "The Spirit of the Constitution: John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland" during Professor Randy Barnett's seminar, "Recent Books on the Constitution," at Georgetown Law on Nov. 17, 2021. 

  • David S. Schwartz has submitted "Reconsidering the Constitution's Preamble: The Words that Made Us U.S." for publication in 37 Constitutional Commentary in 2022. Read the paper

  • David S. Schwartz has submitted "The Committee of Style and the Federalist Constitution" for publication in 70 Buffalo Law Review in 2022. Read the paper

  • David S. Schwartz presented a paper called “Reconsidering the Constitution’s Preamble: The Words that Made Us U.S.” during the University of Illinois College of Law's Constitution Day 2021 event on Sept. 17. 

  • David Schwartz presented "McCulloch Overruled? The Odyssey of a Landmark Case" to the Supreme Court Historical Society on July 14, 2021. The presentation was on his book, The Spirit of the Constitution: John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland (Oxford U. Press 2019). Watch the presentation

  • David Schwartz’s article “The Other Madison Problem” was published in the Fordham Law Review.  Co-authored with John Mikhail of Georgetown Law, the article was part of a symposium called "The Federalist Constitution," organized by Prof. Schwartz along with Mikhail, Jonathan Gienapp and Richard Primus. 

  • David Schwartz's article "Recovering the Lost General Welfare Clause" was accepted for publication in the William & Mary Law Review.The article argues that the powers of Congress can be interpreted to extend to all matters of national concern, including those that may fall outside the conventional "limited enumerated powers," such as a national mask mandate or vaccination mandate.

  • David Schwartz's "The Other Madison Problem" (co-authored with John Mikhail) questions the idealized role of James Madison as the preeminent framer and founding-era interpreter of the Constitution. The paper was presented as part of the Fall 2020 Fordham Law Review Symposium, "The Federalist Constitution," organized by Schwartz, Mikhail, Richard Primus and Jonathan Gienapp.

  • David Schwartz's post, "Presidential Elections in the House?," appears on the Constitutional law blog, Balkinization. Schwartz's article offers preview and commentary on the "Faithless Electors" case to be argued in the Supreme Court on May 13, 2020.

  • David Schwartz published six posts on Legal History Blog as guest-blogger for the month of December 2019. He also debated his post on originalism with Michael Ramsey on The Originalism Blog.

  • In December 2019, David Schwartz presented his paper, "McCulloch v. Maryland and the Incoherence of Enumerationism," at the Sixth Annual Salmon P. Chase Lecture & Colloquium at Georgetown University Law Center.

  • The 2019 Wisconsin Law Review Symposium, which was chaired by former UW Law Professor Andrew Coan, featured a number of UW Law faculty, including Anuj Desai, Howie Erlanger, Neil Komesar, John Ohnesorge, Asifa Quraishi-Landes, David Schwartz, Miriam Seifter and Rob Yablon. The symposium, titled "Rationing the Constitution: How Judicial Capacity Shapes Supreme Decision-Making,” was held Oct. 24 and 25.

  • David Schwartz's book, "The Spirit of the Constitution: John Marshall and the 200-Year Odyssey of McCulloch v. Maryland," was published by Oxford University Press in October 2019.

  • David Schwartz's article, "Madison's Waiver: Can Constitutional Liquidation Be Liquidated?", appeared in Stanford Law Review Online in September.

  • David Schwartz presented "Limited Enumerated Powers as a Non-Originalist Idea" for a September faculty workshop at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

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