Joel Alicea


  • Columbus School of Law
  • Expertise

  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Joel Alicea joined the Catholic Law faculty in 2020 after having practiced law for several years at the law firm of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, where he specialized in constitutional litigation. He previously served as a law clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., on the United States Supreme Court and for Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    Professor Alicea’s scholarship has focused on constitutional theory. His scholarship has appeared, or is forthcoming, in the Virginia Law ReviewNotre Dame Law ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, and the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, among other publications. He has also been active in public debates about constitutional law, publishing essays in journals such as National Affairs and The Public Discourse.

    Professor Alicea graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2013 and summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University in 2010.

    Professor Alicea is a Fellow at the Columbus School of Law's Center for Religious Liberty and a Nonresident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the Director of the Hispanic Student Mentoring and Leadership Program.

    Professional Research and Writing

    Law Review Articles

    The Role of Emotion in Constitutional Theory, 97 NOTRE DAME L. REV. (forthcoming Spring 2022) (SSRN)

    Liberalism and Disagreement in American Constitutional Theory, 107 VA. L. REV. (forthcoming Dec. 2021)

    The Limits of New Originalism
    , 15 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 1161 (2013) (with Donald L. Drakeman)

    Note, Stare Decisis in an Originalist Congress, 35 HARV. J.L. & PUB. POL’Y 797 (2012)

    Originalism and the Legislature, 56 LOY. L. REV. 513 (2010)

    Selected Essays

    Against the Tiers of Constitutional Scrutiny, NAT’L AFF., Fall 2019, at 72 (with John D. Ohlendorf)

    The Supreme Court’s 2014–2015 Term: The Year the Administrative State Trembled, THE PUBLIC DISCOURSE (Sept. 3, 2015)

    Originalism and the Rule of the Dead, NAT’L AFF., Spring 2015, at 149

    Constitutional Compromise and Classical Liberalism, LIBERTY LAW FORUM (March 11, 2014)

    Real Judicial Restraint, NAT’L AFF., Fall 2013, at 69

    Debating Originalism, CLAREMONT REV. BOOKS DIGITAL (Feb. 8, 2013)

    Chief Justice Roberts and the Changing Conservative Legal Movement, THE PUBLIC DISCOURSE (July 10, 2012)

    Forty Years of Originalism, POL’Y REV., June–July 2012, at 69

    Gingrich, Desegregation, and Judicial Supremacy, THE PUBLIC DISCOURSE (Jan. 5, 2012)

    An Originalist Congress?, NAT’L AFF., Winter 2011, at 31