Who is on the ASL faculty?


Stewart L. Harris

Stewart Harris
Professor of Law
276-935-4349, Ext. 1219

J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School (1986)
A.B., Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (1983)

Courses Taught: Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, First Amendment Seminar

Professor Harris graduated from Princeton University in 1983, where he earned an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His studies there focused on U.S. foreign policy, particularly nuclear weapons policy. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1986, where he won the Edwin R. Keedy Cup, the school's highest moot court award.

Professor Harris then spent a number of years practicing law for the federal government and private firms. He notably obtained $500,000 for a newspaper's defamation of a public official in Griffin v. Add, Inc., Case No. 1:99-cv-36 SPM, U.S. District Court, N.D. Fla., 2000. He also served as trial counsel in two reported environmental cases, HCA, Inc. v. Florida Rock Industries, Inc., 19 FALR 1743 (1998) and Hellmuth v. Carolina Solite Corp., 17 FALR 4072 (1996).

Professor Harris began his teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he taught a course as a third-year law student in 1985-1986. He returned to teaching at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law from 1999 to 2001. Since 2001, Professor Harris has taught at ASL. For the past several years he has also taught Constitutional Law during the summer semester at the University of Tennessee College of Law. His primary scholarly interest is the First Amendment, and his current research focuses on group defamation. Professor Harris has won ASL's Faculty Scholarship Award for “The First Amendment and the End of the World," 68 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 785 (2007). He has also been selected by ASL's first-year or second-year students as Professor of the Year five times, most recently in 2010.

As part of ASL's commitment to community service, Professor Harris has designed and taught an SAT preparation course at nearby Mountain Mission School, which houses and educates underprivileged children. He has also assisted with a number of other projects at Mountain Mission, including a college-credit course in U.S. government. He also judges Mountain Mission's annual Mock Trial competition assembly.

In March 2011, Professor Harris created a public radio show, "Your Weekly Constitutional," on WETS, the National Public Radio affiliate in Johnson City, Tenn. The show features lawyers, scholars, and activists discussing interesting and controversial issues in constitutional law, such as religious freedom, states' rights, and even secession. The show airs on 89.5 FM each Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. Podcasts are available on the WETS website, www.wets.org, on the ASL website, and via the show's Facebook page.


  • "Sometimes, We Really Do Suck,” 16 The Law Teacher 18 (2009).
  • Introduction to Brett Buchheit, "The Economics of Alternative Energy: Decisions Following the IPCC's Report on Climate Change," 38 Texas Environmental Law Journal 73 (2008).
  • "Con Law, Simplified," National Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 21, Feb. 4, 2008.
  • "The First Amendment and the End of the World," 68 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 785 (2007).
  • "Cassandra, Esq." National Law Journal, Vol. 29, No. 52, August 27, 2007.
  • "Hamilton's Humiliated Home," Newsletter of the Southwest Virginia Historical Society, August 2007.
  • "On Executive Power," National Law Journal, Vol. 29, No. 22, Feb. 5, 2007.
  • "The First Amendment and Dangerous Information," National Law Journal, Vol. 29, No. 15, Dec. 11, 2006.
  • "Parsing Lawyer Jokes," National Law Journal, Vol. 28, No. 38, May 29, 2006.
  • "Virginia's Forgotten Framer," Newsletter of the Southwest Virginia Historical Society, August 2005.
  • "Alexander Hamilton: A Fine Lawyer, Too." National Law Journal, Vol. 27, No. 20, Jan. 24, 2005.
  • "Giving Up Grammar and Dumping Derrida," 33 Capital University Law Review 291 (2005).
  • "Washington's Potomac: A Vision of Unified Glory," National Law Journal, Vol. 26, No. 34, April 26, 2004.
  • "Benjamin Franklin: Founding Granddad," National Law Journal, Vol. 26, No. 18, Jan. 5, 2004.
  • "A Tale of Two Sites and a Lawsuit," National Law Journal, Vol. 25, No. 48, July 28, 2003.
  • "Pledge ruling: Read, decide," Bristol Herald-Courier, August 25, 2002, 7A.

Selected Presentations

  • "The Jew Who Beat Henry Ford," April 2011. Invited presentation at the Second International Conference on Hate Studies, sponsored by the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies in Spokane, Wash. Panel discussion of current research on group defamation and the First Amendment through the lens of Sapiro v. Ford, a largely forgotten case that marked the end of Henry Ford's vicious anti-Semitic campaign of the early 1920s. 
  • "Old McDonald Has a Gun: Heller, McDonald and the Second Amendment," November 2010. A presentation to the Bar Association of Washington County, Tenn.
  • "Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction and the First Amendment," March 2010. Presentation to the annual Bench/Bar Conference of the 30th Judicial Circuit of Virginia.
  • "Hearing of Petition to File an Original Proceeding Seeking Declaration of the Rights of the Several States to Withdraw from the Union." May 2009. Panelist in simulated argument before U.S. Supreme Court on constitutionality of secession held in Lewisburg, W.V.
  • "Guns 'n Bombs: Two Current Issues in Constitutional Law." March 2009. Presentation on Heller v. District of Columbia and recent issues in National Security Law, given to annual Bench/Bar Conference of 30th Judicial District of Virginia.
  • "Problems in Legal and Medical Ethics," June 2008. Panelist at Concord University presentation on legal and medical ethics issues relevant to the wrongful termination of a gay teacher in the West Virginia public schools whose partner became HIV positive.
  • "The Original Branch," November 2006. Presentation to the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates and other members of the Virginia General Assembly on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth of Virginia at Jamestown. Analysis of the primacy of the legislative branch in the Jamestown Charter of 1607 and in subsequent royal charters.
  • "The First Amendment and the End of the World," March 2005. A presentation sponsored by the American Constitution Society discussing Harris' research on national security law and the First Amendment.
  • "The Troubled Birth of the U. S. Constitution," Concord University, June 2005. A discussion of the antecedents to and proceedings of the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
  • "Dr. Newdow v. Justice Scalia: The Standard (if any) for Supreme Court Recusals," April 2003. A presentation to the faculty of the Appalachian School of Law regarding the implications of various public statements of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia regarding, most notably, the notorious "Pledge of Allegiance Case" (please see below).
  • "The Pledge of Allegiance Case," Concord University, June 2002. A discussion of the basis for and implications of Newdow v. U.S. Congress, 292 F.3d 597 (9th Cir. 2002). In Newdow, the Ninth Circuit ruled that a California public school teacher had violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by leading her third-grade class in a recitation of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • "Legal Malpractice and the Rules of Professional Conduct," Kingsport Bar Association, January 2002 (with Professor Timothy Chinaris). Discussion of the intersection of common-law legal malpractice doctrine and the Rules of Professional Conduct.