Elizabeth Sepper

Professor of Law

Washington University

Professor Elizabeth Sepper is a scholar of religious liberty, health law, and discrimination. She has written extensively on the interactions between religion and reproductive and end-of-life healthcare. She also is one of the nation’s foremost experts in the antidiscrimination obligations of public accommodations—that is, businesses, social service providers, and organizations open to the public.

Professor Sepper will be a Law and Public Affairs fellow at Princeton University for 2018-19. She will be working on a book Sex in Public: Public Accommodation Law from the Civil War to the Bathroom Wars, which will situate today’s debates over same-sex weddings, transgender people’s bathroom access, and breastfeeding in public in the context of over a century of contestation over sex in public. This book will show that sex profoundly affected the construction of common law and statutory requirements of equal access throughout U.S. history, just as it continues to do today.

Professor Sepper’s articles have appeared in top journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, and Harvard Journal of Gender & Law. She recently published LAW, RELIGION, AND HEALTH IN THE UNITED STATES (Holly Fernandez Lynch, I. Glenn Cohen, & Elizabeth Sepper, eds. Cambridge Univ. 2017). With chapters showcasing a wide variety of perspectives and methodologies, the book explores pressing issues from religious burial and ceremonial practices that threaten public health to religious objections to counseling LGBT people.

Prior to joining the faculty, she was a fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights and Columbia Law School. She also clerked for the Hon. Marjorie Rendell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced at Human Rights Watch and NYU School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. Sepper received her J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, and LL.M. in international legal studies from NYU School of Law. She received her B.A. in history summa cum laude with distinction from Boston University.


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The Contraceptive Mandate Takes Another Hit

7/2/19  //  Commentary

The decision mounts an end run around other federal courts and prior precedent in the Fifth Circuit and risks disrupting insurance markets

Elizabeth Sepper

Washington University

Religious Freedom As a Basis for the Right to Choose

5/16/19  //  In-Depth Analysis

If Roe is overturned, doctrines of religious freedom may help safeguard reproductive rights, but only if we build the groundwork by recovering the history of religious reproductive justice and amplifying the moral reasoning of pregnant people

Elizabeth Sepper

Washington University