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Joanne C. Brant

Professor of Law
Tilton Hall #182
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Prior to joining the faculty, Joanne Brant practiced law in Cleveland, Ohio, with the firms of Thompson, Hine & Flory and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, where she specialized in labor and employment litigation. From 1986-87, she clerked for Chief Justice Pierce Lively of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Danville, Ky. Brant has served on the attorney general's Ethics and Professional Responsibility Advisory Council, on an ABA site inspection team in 2000, and as chair of the AALS Section on Law and Religion in 2001. She was a visiting professor at Ohio State University in 2000 and has been a recurrent visiting professor at the University of Alabama since 2003. From 2013-15, she taught law students at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Brant received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Classroom Teacher in 2006, 2011 and 2017. She was named the Ella and Ernest Fisher professor of law from 1999-2002. She received the Fowler Harper Award for Outstanding Faculty Scholarship in 1996 and 1998. The Moot Court Board named her the Faculty Advisor of the Year in 1999, 2011, 2014 and 2016. She received the Pro Bono/Public Service Award in 2001. She received the SBA Most Effective Teacher Award in 2014 and 2015. Brant received the Liberty Bell award in 2018.

J.D., Case Western Reserve University, cum laude.
A.B., Cornell University
Bar Admissions: 


United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
United States Court of Appeals (6th and 8th Circuits)
United States Supreme Court

Teaching Interests: 

Constitutional Law

Law and Religion

Federal Courts

Mass Media Law

Law and Literature

Women and the Law

Election Law

Faculty Activities

Engel: Divisiveness or Coercion – A Response to Professor Marshall, 46 CAP. L. REV. 373 (2018) (invited piece for Sullivan Lecture)

Ch. 23, Interstate and Foreign Support Practice, in OHIO DOMESTIC RELATIONS LAW (Sowald and Morganstern, Eds.) (Ohio Legal Practice Series, Banks-Baldwin) (2008-09) (with Leonard). (updated annually).

Religious Employers and Discrimination: Breaking Faith with the Faithful, The Writ, Ohio Northern University (2003).

Religious Discrimination by Religious Institutions, 4 EMPLOYEE

RTS. & EMPLOYMENT POL. J. 101 (2000)

The Half-Open Door:  Article III, the Injury-in-Fact Rule, and the Framers Plan for Federal Courts of Limited Jurisdiction, 54 Rutgers L. Rev 1 (2001) (with Leonard)

The Ascent of Sovereign Immunity, 83 Iowa L. Rev. 767 (1998)

Seminole Tribe, Flores and State Employees: Reflections on a New Relationship, 2 Employee Rts. & Employment Pol. J. 175 (1998)

Taking the Supreme Court at its Word: The Implications for RFRA and Separation of Powers, 56 Mont. L. Rev. 5 (1995) (prepared by invitation for Symposium on RFRA)

Ethical Issues and Trouble Spots, 4 J. of Pharm. & L. 25 (1994) (prepared by invitation for Symposium on Pharmacy and Law)

"Our Shield Belongs to the Lord:" Religious Employers and a Constitutional Right to Discriminate, 21 Hastings Const. L. Q. 275 (1994)

Not a Prayer for Curricular Reform after Lee v. Weisman, 43 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 753 (1993) (prepared by invitation for Symposium on Lee v. Weisman)

Employment Discrimination in Religious Schools: A Constitutional Analysis, in PUBLIC VALUES, PRIVATE SCHOOLS (with Marshall) (Devins ed. 1989)


Essays on: Evolution, the Public Schools and the Courts; Title VII Discrimination and Religion; Public School Curricula and Free Exercise Challenges and Board of Educ. v. Allen in RELIGION AND AMERICAN LAW: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA (Finkelman, ed. 2000)

Essays on: Middlemarch, Silas Marner, The Mill on the Floss, Adam Bede, Felix Holt, Romola, Gaudy Night, Waiting for the Barbarians and The Last Billable Hour for AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ON LAW AND LITERATURE, (Gemmette, ed. 1998)

Recent Developments in the Law on Sexual Harassment, ONU Monograph (1993)


Bar Review Presenter, Ohio Northern University, Constitutional Law (2002-present)

Presenter: "The 2012 Term," Ohio Northern University, Constitution Day program, (with Patchelko and Frohnen), September 25, 2012 

Presenter: "Stern v. Marshall," Cleveland Bar Association: Bankruptcy Law Section, CLE, Cleveland, Ohio, November 17, 2011 

Presenter: "The Constitution After 9/11,"  Constitution Day program, (with Mike Lewis), September 19, 2011.

Presenter: Templeton Debate Series on Freedom, "Christian Legal Society v. Martinez," Federalist Society/Christian Legal Society, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, March 10, 2010

Presenter, "Guns and Gitmo," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, (w/Mike Lewis), October 14, 2008

Presenter: Can Catholic Charities be Required to Cover Prescription Birth Control in Employee Health Coverage Plans?  Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio (Debate w/ Steve Veltri),  April 9, 2008

Presenter, The Enemy Combatant Cases, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, (w/ Mike Lewis), March  6, 2008

Presenter, "The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment," Lions' Club, Bluffton, Ohio, November 6, 2007

Presenter, Constitution Day Program, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, September 17, 2007

Organizer, Moderator and Presenter: “Leading Cases of Supreme Court’s 2005-06 Term,” Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio (Two programs: October 15, 2006 and November 12, 2006)

Presenter, “Obscenity Law: Constitutional Considerations”, for Ohio State Bar Association CLE Program, “Obscenity and Child Pornography Cases: Current Legal Issues and Trial Considerations,” Cleveland, Ohio, October 27, 2005

Presenter, “A History of the Appointment Process,” Ohio Northern University, Constitution Day Program, September 19, 2005

Presenter, “Discrimination and Religion: A Conflict in Constitutional Values,” for Wayne State Symposium on The Intersection of Law and Religion, Dayton, Ohio, April 28, 2005

Panelist, "Military Tribunals and the Afghanistan Detainees: The Geneva Convention and Terrorists," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, March, 2002

Panelist, "The USA Patriot Act and the Fourth Amendment: Civil Liberties vs. Civil Rights," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, February, 2002

Presenter, "Recent Developments in Eleventh Amendment Litigation," CLE program for attorneys in Ohio Attorney General's office, Columbus, Ohio, October, 2001

Presenter, "Handicapping the Court in Univ. of Alabama Board of Trustees v. Garrett: Observations and Predictions After the Oral Arguments," Faculty Development Program, Capital University School of Law, Columbus, Ohio, October, 2000

Principal Presenter, Two Cities Symposium, "Tort, Contract and Employment Litigation: The Case Against Church Autonomy," George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C., March, 2000

Principal Presenter, AALS Annual Meeting: Section on Law and Religion, "Do Religious Employers Still Enjoy a Constitutional Right to Discriminate?", Washington, D.C., January, 2000

Presenter: CHILD, Inc, Annual Board of Directors Meeting, Discussed pending CHILD-sponsored litigation, and spoke on First Principles of Religion Clause Jurisprudence, Toledo, Ohio, July, 1999

Panelist, "The Impeachment Controversy," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, November, 1998

Presenter: "The New Importance of Sovereign Immunity", Faculty Development Colloquium, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, March, 1997

Panelist: "The Full Faith and Credit Implications of Same-Sex Marriage," Federalist Society, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, November, 1996

Panelist: "Attorney Advertising: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, November, 1996

Panelist: "Theory of Law and Literature;" Law and Literature Symposium, U.C., Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California, September, 1995

Panelist and Paper Presenter: "Taking the Supreme Court at Its Word," The James R. Browning Symposium for 1994: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana, September, 1994

Panelist and Paper Presenter: "Ethical Issues and Trouble Spots," Pharmacy and Law Symposium, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, July, 1994

Presenter: Ohio CLE Institute: Professional Curriculum Committee; Presented on "Developments in Ethics" at annual "General Practice Update" program, Columbus, Ohio, 1994

Presenter: "Supreme Court Seminar on the Religion Clauses," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, October, 1993

Panelist and Paper Presenter: "Not a Prayer for Curricular Reform," Symposium on Religion and the Public Schools After Lee v. Weisman, Case Western Reserve University College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio, November, 1992

Presenter: "Diversity and Ideological Perspectives," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, September, 1992

Presenter: "Leading Cases of the 1992 Term," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, September, 1992

Professional Development: 

Moderator, Ohio Northern University Law Review Symposium, March 2009

NASD Arbitrator, Cleveland Ohio, 1997-2007.

Moderator, “Would You Be a Source? Reporter Privilege in the post-9/11 World,” Ohio Northern University Law Review Symposium, March 24, 2006

Moderator, “Privacy and Surveillance: Emerging Legal Issues,” Ohio Northern University Law Review Symposium, March 19, 2004

Judge, Louis Jackson Memorial Labor and Employment Law National Writing Competition, Chicago-Kent College of Law, 1998 - 2004

Moderator, "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Fifteen Years After Meritor Savings Bank," Ohio Northern University Law Review Symposium, Ada, Ohio, March, 2001

AALS Annual Meeting: Section on Law and Religion, Organized program on Children, Spiritual Treatment and Free Exercise, Washington, D.C., January, 2000

Moderator, "Supreme Court Symposium: City of Boerne v. Flores", Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, September, 1997

Moderator: "The Future of Affirmative Action," Law Review Symposium, Ohio Northern University, Columbus, Ohio, March, 1996

Moderator: "Leading Cases of the 1996 Term," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, March, 1996

Moderator: "Racial Gerrymandering," Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, February, 1996

Ohio Attorney General's Ethics and Professional Responsibility Advisory Council

Pro Bono Legal Representation: 

General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline, 540 U.S. 581 (2004)
Counsel for Dennis Cline, et al. Principal author of Respondents’ Brief in “reverse” age discrimination case.

Schwartz v. Citibank, 50 Fed. Appx. 832, 2002 WL 31269818 (9th Cir. 2002).
Counsel for C. Yeomans, Intervenor. Filed petition for certiorari in nationwide class action challenging payment-crediting policies of credit card issuer.

CHILD v. DeParle, 212 F.3d 1084 (8th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 532 U.S. 957 (2001)
Counsel for Minnesota Civil Liberties Union, et al. Filed amicus curiae brief before Eighth Circuit. (Establishment clause challenge to Medicare and Medicaid statutes authorizing federal reimbursement for nursing services provided in Christian Science sanatoria. Eighth Circuit upheld federal statutes; U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.)

CHILD v. Deters, 92 F.3d 1412 (6th Cir. 1996), cert. denied sub nom., CHILD v. Montgomery, 519 U.S. 1149 (1997)
Assisted with petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court. (Establishment clause and equal protection challenges to Ohio child welfare statutes exempting parents who treat children with prayer from civil   and criminal liability. Sixth Circuit upheld statutes on eleventh amendment grounds, U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.)

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