Gillian Metzger

A leading administrative and constitutional law scholar, Gillian Metzger ’96 writes and teaches in the areas of administrative law, constitutional law, and federal courts, with an emphasis on federalism and privatization. She was named senior counselor at the Department of Justice in 2021.

Metzger’s recent work covers topics ranging from constitutional attacks on the administrative state to administrative constitutionalism and the role of administrative agencies in a polarized world. In 2015, Metzger won the American Bar Association Administrative Law Section Annual Scholarship Award for “The Constitutional Duty to Supervise,” which examined presidential control and oversight of the modern administrative state. She is a co-editor of Gellhorn & Byse’s Administrative Law: Cases and Comments, 12th ed. (Foundation Press, 2018), a seminal administrative law casebook, as well as The Health Care Case: The Supreme Court’s Decision and Its Implications (Oxford University Press, 2013), which looked back at the landmark 2012 Affordable Care Act case.

In 2012, Metzger helped launch Columbia Law School’s Center for Constitutional Governance (CCG)—where she now serves as faculty director—a nonpartisan legal and policy organization devoted to the study of constitutional structure and authority. CCG brings together a diverse group of constitutional scholars to explore policy areas such as health care, civil rights, immigration, financial regulation, and national security.

Metzger also has co-authored and filed numerous amicus briefs in major constitutional and administrative law challenges before the Supreme Court and other courts. Most recently, Metzger filed a brief in Seila Law Center v. CFPB, a separation of powers challenge, and in Kisor v. Wilkie, a case involving judicial deference to agencies. She has also filed briefs in cases involving reproductive rights and the Affordable Care Act, among others.

In 2014, the Law School’s graduating class awarded Metzger the Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching, recognizing, among many other accomplishments, her commitment to mentoring new generations of law students in particular.

Previously, Metzger served as vice dean of intellectual life at Columbia Law School. Before joining the Law School, she worked as an attorney with the Brennan Center for Justice. Metzger also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’59 and Judge Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In 2018, Metzger moderated a panel discussion with Justice Ginsburg on impact litigation at Columbia Law School.

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