Professor Rebecca Zietlow receives University’s Outstanding Researcher Award
April 16, 2012
Professor Rebecca E. Zietlow, Charles W. Fornoff Professor of Law and Values, has been unanimously named the winner of one of two Outstanding Researcher Awards presented by The University of Toledo this year. The award recognizes outstanding research, scholarship, and creative activity on UT’s multi-campus university.
The award is in recognition of Zietlow’s scholarship in the area of constitutional history and politics. Her research focuses on the Reconstruction Era amendments, including the meaning and history of the 13th and 14th Amendments.
“We are proud, but not surprised, by this recognition of Professor Zietlow’s scholarship,” said College of Law Dean Daniel J. Steinbock. “Her work has drawn increasing national attention in recent years, and has helped put Toledo Law on the map in the area of constitutional law and history.”
Zietlow has played a leading role in reviving scholarly interest in the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude. Her latest article “James Ashley’s Thirteenth Amendment,” which will be published in the Columbia Law Review this year, promises to bring national attention to the contribution of James Ashley, a member of the Reconstruction Congress from Toledo, Ohio, who played a pivotal role in ensuring that the 13th Amendment was approved by Congress.
Professor Zietlow also has developed an original theory of equal citizenship under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees individual rights against state intrusion, enabling her to explain the amendment’s continuing vitality in modern jurisprudence. This effort culminated in her book, “Enforcing Equality: Congress, the Constitution, and the Protection of Individual Rights,” published in 2006 by New York University Press.
Finally, Zietlow is one of a small group of scholars who study congressional interpretation of the Constitution. Her work in this area has helped spark renewed interest in popular constitutionalism, that is, constitutional interpretation outside of the courts. Professor Zietlow’s scholarship has examined the constitutional theories of the Tea Party movement, and the congressional debates of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In addition to this latest accolade, Professor Zietlow was also recently elected to serve as a member of the executive committee of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Constitutional Law, and as a member of the executive committee of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Women in Legal Education.
The 2012 Outstanding Researcher Award selection committee was comprised of five former award winners. This year’s co-honoree is Professor Kevin Czajkowski of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.