Kenneth M. Casebeer, Professor of Law, earned an A.B., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1971 and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1974. In 1975-76, he held the position of legal scholar at the Kennedy Institute for Bio-Ethics at Georgetown University, where he taught in the Department of Philosophy. A professor at the University of Miami School of Law since 1974, he served as Associate Dean during 1986-87. Professor Casebeer teaches courses in constitutional law, jurisprudence, and work law: the law governing employment relations and collective bargaining.
As an academic, Professor Casebeer has consistently worked on the connections between law and power, and the State, work, and democracy. His scholarship on constitutional law and social theory, employment, labor history, medical ethics, and legal philosophy combines traditions of American Pragmatism and the Frankfurt School of critical theory. Philosophically, his Work on a Labor Theory of Meaning posits that human time and organization depend upon social meaning produced through work. This idea serves as a critique of discourse theory and stands as an alternative strategy to that of Jrgen Habermas within Post-Hegelian debates. Jurisprudentially, these commitments lead to a revision and extension of Legal Realism, highlighted in Fact and Value in Karl Llewellyn, and Toward a Critical Theory of Jurisprudence. Juridically, this reveals the intrinsic role of ideology in adjudication; The Judging Glass, and The Empty State and Nobody's Market: A Constitutional Economy of Power/Subordination. He therefore argues the need to substantially revise legal practices and education in order to identify the uses of power in law which subordinate people and in turn weaken democracy. In The Empty State and Nobody's Market, and in Paris is closer than Frankfurt: The Nth American Exceptionalism, he draws upon European social theory to explain the need to understand the State as responsible for the consequences of many forms of power. He explores the manner in which the State through law extends power beyond government administration, and therefore, questions how such powers' exercise in a democracy should extend our responsibility for dignity and inclusion, as a mutual self defense. He believes the pursuit of utopian justice incoherent, in favor of attacking existing injustices, Running on Empty. He proposes that lawyer arguments take account of the continuity of legislative and judicial decisions within on-going struggles over social functions, Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Coppage v. Kansas and At-Will Employment Revisited, and that such arguments should be informed by skills necessary to document a "present history" of the stakes and power pending any legal decision. In this endeavor, at the same time, he has been part of the generation of a new academic sub-field: Labor Law History. His contributions include a political history of the relationship of labor organization and Social Security in the thirties, Unemployment Insurance: American Social Wage, Labor Organization and Legal Ideology, and a social history of the community of the test case of the NLRA, Aliquippa: The Company Town and Contested Power in the Construction of Law, and several articles on the drafting of the Wagner Act. His bibliography of Critical Labor Law has been republished in the first Chinese language study of a Western Legal movement, wherein his work is also discussed. He is currently working on a casebook about worker interests and powers within labor markets and the division of labor - Work Law in American Society -- and another labor history book, Distinctly American Radicals: The AFL Rank and File Committee and Labor Law during the Nineteen-Thirties. Professor Casebeer has published and edited the labor law newsletter, "Re-Working," served as a peer reviewer for academic journals in social theory, and sat as a board member for numerous private and public institutions.
“NLRB v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corp.” in Eric Arneson, ed., Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class History, forthcoming Routledge, 2006.
“At-Will Employment,” in Eric Arneson, ed., Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class History, forthcoming Routledge, 2006.
WORK LAW IN AMERICAN SOCIETY, with Gary Minda, Carolina Academic Press, 2004.
“The Power to Regulate “Commerce With Foreign Nations” in a Global Economy and the Future of American Democracy,” 56 Univ. of Miami Law Rev. 25 (2002).
"A Cautionary Tale: Globalisation and Legitimation Crisis in the Rule of Law in the United States," 8 Int. J. of the Legal Profession 57 (2001).
“The Empty State and Nobody’s Market: The Political Economy of Non- Responsibility and the Judicial Disappearing of the Civil Rights Movement,” 54 University of Miami Law Review 247, 2000.
“2001: A Global Odyssey Prompted by the Merritt-Cihon Upper Level Curriculum Report of the AALS,” 30 Inter-American Law Review 415, 1998.
“Critical Legal Studies and Labor Law,” Zhu, Jingwen, ed., A Challenge to Western Legal Tradition: The Critical Legal Studies Movement in America, (bibliography in first Chinese language book on Contemporary Western Jurisprudence) 1996.
“Aliquippa: The Company Town and Contested Power in the Construction of Law.” 43 Buffalo Law Review 617, 1995.
“Paris is Closer than Frankfurt: The nth American Exceptionalism,” 28 Law & Society Review 931, 1994.
"Review: Industrial Democracy in America---The Ambiguous Promise," N. Lichtenstein, H.J. Harris, eds., Law and History Review,1994.
"Unemployment Insurance: American Social Wage, Labor Organization and Legal Ideology" 35 Boston College Law Review 259, 1994..
"The Workers' Unemployment Insurance Bill: American Social Wage, Legal Ideology, and the Organization of Labor," in C. Tomlins, A. King, eds., Labor Law in America: Historical and Critical Essays, Johns-Hopkins Univ. Press, 1992.
"Clashing Views of the Wagner Act: the Files of Leon Keyserling," 2 Labor's Heritage 44, April 1990.
"Running on Empty: Justice Brennan's Plea, The Empty State, the City of Richmond, and the Profession," 43 Univ. of Miami Law Review 989, 1989.
"Drafting Wagner's Act: Leon Keyserling and the Pre-Committee Drafts of the Labor Disputes Act and the National Labor Relations Act," 11 Industrial Relations Law Journal 73, 1989.
"Work on a Labor Theory of Meaning," 10 Cardozo Law Review 1637, 1989.
"The Crisis in Private Law Is Not An Ideal Situation," 10 Cardozo Law Review 1001, 1989.
"Holder of the Pen: An Interview With Leon Keyserling on Drafting The Wagner Act," 42 Univ. of Miami Law Review 285, 1987.
"Teaching An Old Dog Old Tricks: Coppage v. Kansas and At-Will Employment Revisited" 6 Cardozo Law Review, 765, 1985.
"Toward a Critical Jurisprudence: A First Step Through the Public-Private Distinction," 37 Univ. of Miami Law Review 379, 1983.
"Constitutive Values of Access to Government Under the Freedom of Information Act." NIH, CDC, Requested Exemptions from the FOIA, Ethics Advisory Board, DHEW, GPO, 1980.
"Public Policy Issues in Genetic Counseling," with James F. Childress, Ph.D., Genetic Counseling; Facts, Values and Norms, Capron, Lappe, et al., Liss. New York, 1979.
"The Judging Glass," 33 Univ. of Miami Law Review 59, 1978.
"Technology and the Law," with Laurence Tribe, J.D., Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Free Press, New York, 1978.
"Escape from Liberalism -- Fact and Value in Karl Llewellyn," 1977 Duke Law Journal 671, 1977.
"Obscuring the Role of the Physician," with Roy Branson, Ph.d, Symposium on the Karen Quinlan Respirator Case. Hastings Center Report, Vol. 6, February, 1976.
"Injury Compensation of Research Subjects -- One Approach to Societal Obligation," Kennedy Institute Quarterly Report, Spring, 1975.
Books in Progress:
Distinctly American Radicals: The Rank and File in the AFL and Labor Law During the 1930’s.
Awards and Service:
Referee: Law & Society Review, Cambridge Journal of Political Studies
Member: INTELL, Law & Society, CLS
1984 EDITOR, ReWorking, Project in Labor Theory