“Suzanna Sherry has been an incredibly productive scholar and a revered teacher whose rigorous classes in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and Federal Courts have prepared a generation of Vanderbilt law students for legal practice,” said Chris Guthrie, Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law. “We are grateful for her service at the law school and for her legacy of scholarship.”
Sherry joined the Vanderbilt Law faculty in 2000 as inaugural holder of the Cal Turner Chair. She was appointed to the newly endowed Herman O. Loewenstein Chair in Law in 2006.
She was the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished University Professor for Vanderbilt University in 2012-13 and was named the Vanderbilt recipient of a 2017 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding teaching, research and scholarship.
Sherry has written extensively on constitutional law and theory and on federal courts and federal court procedures, addressing such topics as judicial activism, federal court jurisdiction, constitutional history and federalism. Over the course of her career, her articles have been published in the Harvard, University of Chicago, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Duke, Texas, Northwestern and Vanderbilt law reviews, among many others, and in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, including the Supreme Court Review, the Journal of Law and Economic Policy, Law and Contemporary Problems and Green Bag.
Her books include Judgment Calls: Principle and Politics in Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press, 2009), Desperately Seeking Certainty: The Misguided Quest for Constitutional Foundations (University of Chicago Press, 2002), and Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law (Oxford University Press 1997), all coauthored with Daniel Farber, and Constitutionalism, Executive Power and the Spirit of Moderation (SUNY Press, 2016), co-edited with Giorgi Areshidze and Paul Carrese.
She is also a co-author of three casebooks: Civil Procedure, Federal Courts and A History of the American Constitution, and an introduction for law students, What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know.
Before coming to Vanderbilt, Sherry taught for 18 years at the University of Minnesota Law School. She joined the Minnesota Law faculty as an associate professor in 1982 and was the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law from 1992 to 2000.
Prior to entering the legal academy, Sherry was a law clerk for Judge John C. Godbold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and then practiced law at Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C. She earned her law degree at the University of Chicago, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif.
Sherry was affiliated with the Law and Government and Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution programs, and served as director of the Branstetter Program in 2010-11. She taught Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Federal Courts, and several different seminars, among other courses.