Carl H. Esbeck

Prof. Carl H. Esbeck

R.B. Price Professor Emeritus of Law/ Isabelle Wade & Paul C. Ly, University of Missouri School of Law

Carl H. Esbeck is R.B. Price Professor and Isabelle Wade & Paul C. Lyda Professor of Law emeritus at the University of Missouri.  After attending Cornell University School of Law where he served as an editor on the Cornell Law Review, he held a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Howard C. Bratton, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in New Mexico.

Professor Esbeck publishes widely in the area of religious liberty and church-state relations. He is recognized as the progenitor of "Charitable Choice," an integral part of the 1996 Federal Welfare Reform Act, later made a part of the faith-based initiative and equal-treatment regulations under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In addition, he has taken the lead in recognizing that the modern Supreme Court has applied the Establishment Clause not as a personal right, but as a structural limit on the government's authority in disputes involving church governance. While on leave from 1999 to 2002, Professor Esbeck directed the Center for Law & Religious Freedom (CLRF) and later served as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. While directing the CLRF, Professor Esbeck was a central part of the congressional advocacy behind the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). While at the Department of Justice one of his duties was to direct a task force to remove barriers to the equal-treatment of faith-based organizations applying for social service grants.