About Tom


Thomas McAffee Professor of Law

Phone: 702 895-2434 Email: tom.mcaffee@unlv.edu

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)


B.S., University of Utah, 1976 J.D.,University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, 1979 Professor McAffee earned his J.D. in 1979 from the University of Utah College of Law, where he served as articles editor of the Utah Law Review. Professor McAffee served as law clerk to the Honorable J. Clifford Wallace, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He practiced in the labor department of Gray, Cary, Ames and Frye in San Diego, California. From 1982 to 1998, he taught at Southern Illinois University School of Law in the areas of constitutional law, American legal history, statutory interpretation, first amendment rights, administrative law, criminal procedure, jurisprudence, legal argumentation, and legal writing and reasoning. He has published numerous articles in law journals including the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Columbia Law Review, Brigham Young University Law Review, and Temple Law Review and was awarded the Faculty Achievement Award for Scholarship in 1997. His book, Inherent Rights, the Written Constitution, and Popular Sovereignty: The Founders’ Understanding, was published in 2000. Professor McAffee advises the Nevada Law Journal and teaches American Legal History, First Amendment Rights, and Constitutional Law.

Areas of Expertise:

Constitutional Law

Selected Publications:


The Most Dangerous Branch: Why The Constitution Gave The War Power to Congress and Not to Rogue Presidents (with Christopher L. Blakesley & Edwin B. Firmage) (U. of Ill. Press forthcoming 2008). Powers Reserved for the People and the States: A History of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments (with Jay S. Bybee & A. Christopher Bryant). Inherent Rights, the Written Constitution, and Popular Sovereignty: The Founders’ Understanding (2000).


The Legal Protection of Constitutional Rights, in The Legal System and American Constitutional Democracy, 132 (M. Frankowska and A. Melone, eds. 1993).


The "Foundations" of Anti-Foundationalism -- Or, Taking the Ninth Amendment Lightly: A Comment on Farber's Book on the Ninth Amendment, 8 Nev. L.J.. ___ (forthcoming 2008). SSRN Overcoming Lochner in the Twenty-First Century: Taking Both Rights and Popular Sovereignty Seriously as We Seek to Secure Equal Citizenship and Promote the Public Good, 42 U. Rich. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2008). SSRN Lexis Westlaw Hein Restoring the Lost World of Classical Legal Thought: The Presumption in Favor of Liberty over Law and the Court over the Constitution, 75 U. Cin. L. Rev. 101 (2007). Lexis Westlaw Hein Courts over Constitutions Revisited: Unwritten Constitutionalism in the States, , 2004 Utah L. Rev. 333, (with Nathan N. Frost & Rachel Beth Klein-Levine). Lexis Westlaw Hein The Original Meaning of the Ninth Amendment, 90 Colum. L. Rev. 1215


Unenumerated Rights Under the U.S. Constitution, Nev. Law., July 2001, at 27. Shelly v. Kraemer: Herald of Social Progress and of the Coming Debate Over the Limits of Constitutional Change, 34 St. Louis B.J. 14 (1987).