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Michael J.Z. Mannheimer

Michael J.Z. Mannheimer
Professor of Law


"Learning the law is not really about learning legal rules and standards. It is primarily about learning to make connections - distinctions, analogies, comparisons, and contrasts - between and among cases and doctrines. The biggest thrill I get as a teacher is seeing that light bulb go on in a student's head when he or she makes one of these connections. And sometimes, it is something that even I did not see before."


Mike Mannheimer received his J.D. in 1994 from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar all three years and served as Writing & Research Editor of the Columbia Law Review. After a brief stint as a staff attorney with the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Legal Aid Society in New York City, he clerked for the Hon. Sidney H. Stein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then for the Hon. Robert E. Cowen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

From 1997 to 1999, he worked as a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City, where he practiced general commercial litigation and arbitration encompassing such diverse areas as antitrust, breach of contract, business torts, employment discrimination, ERISA, false advertising, product liability, and civil RICO.

For five years before joining the Chase faculty in 2004, Professor Mannheimer served as Appellate Counsel and then Senior Appellate Counsel at the Center for Appellate Litigation in New York City, where he represented indigent criminal defendants on appeal from their convictions and in related collateral proceedings. He has briefed and/or argued over forty appeals in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, the New York Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He has represented clients at every level of the state and federal judiciaries, from handling sentencing proceedings, motions, and hearings in the New York trial courts to filing cert. petitions in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor Mannheimer's scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the Columbia Law ReviewTexas Law ReviewNotre Dame Law ReviewEmory Law JournalIndiana Law Journal, and Iowa Law Review. His work has been cited by the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Sixth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, federal district courts in Massachusetts, Vermont, and West Virginia, and the high courts of Connecticut, Montana, and Vermont.  His work on the use of the premeditation-deliberation formula to distinguish first- and second-degree murder was the winner of the 2010 AALS Criminal Justice Section Junior Scholar Paper Award. He is currently writing a book about the original understandings of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and how these understandings should affect constitutional constraints on policing.



  • JD, Columbia Law School

Courses Taught

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Death Penalty
  • Evidence
  • Sentencing
  • Kentucky Innocence Project


The Fourth Amendment:  Original Understandings and Modern Policing (under contract with University of Michigan Press) (forthcoming)

“The Impossibility Constraint in Criminal Law” (work in progress)

Fraudulently Induced Confessions, 96 Notre Dame L. Rev. 799 (2020) SSRN

“Eighth Amendment Federalism,” in The Eighth Amendment and Its Future in a New Age of Punishment (William Berry & Meghan Ryan, eds) (Cambridge U. Press 2020)

Vagueness as Impossibility, 98 Tex. L. Rev. 1049 (2020) SSRN

Three-Dimensional Dual Sovereignty: Observations on the Shortcomings of Gamble v. United States, 53 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 67 (2020) (invited symposium submission)

The Unusual Case of Anthony Chebatoris: The “New Deal for Crime” and the Federal Death Penalty, 70 Syracuse L. Rev. 851 (2020) SSRN

Decentralizing Fourth Amendment Search Doctrine, 107 Ky. L.J. 169 (2019)

The Local-Control Model of the Fourth Amendment, 108 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 253 (2018)

The Coming Federalism Battle in the War Over the Death Penalty, 70 Ark. L. Rev. 309 (2017)  (invited symposium submission)

The Two Mirandas, 43 N. KY. L. REV. 317 (2016) SSRN (invited symposium submission)

Gideon, Miranda, and the Downside of Incorporation, 12 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 401 (2015) (invited symposium submission) SSRN

The Contingent Fourth Amendment, 64 Emory L.J. 1229 (2015) SSRN

Harmelin’s Faulty Originalism, 14 Nev. L.J. 522 (2014) SSRN

Cruel and Unusual Federal Punishments, 98 Iowa L. Rev. 69 (2012) SSRN pdf

Self-Government, the Federal Death Penalty, and the Unusual Case of Michael Jacques, 36 Vt. L. Rev. 131 (2011) (invited submission) pdf  SSRN   

Proportionality and Federalism: A Response to Professor Stinneford, 97 Va. L. Rev. In Brief 51 (2011) pdf  

Not the Crime But the Cover-up: A Deterrence Based Rationale for the Premeditation-Deliberation Formula, 86 Ind. L.J. 879 (2011) (winner of the 2010 AALS Criminal Justice Section Junior Scholar Paper Award) pdf  SSRN   

The Impact of Information Overload on the Capital Jury's Ability to Assess Aggravating and Mitigating Factors, 17 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 1089 (2009) (co-authored with Katie Morgan) Hein Online

Toward a Unified Theory of Testimonial Evidence Under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, 80 Temp. L. Rev. 1135 (2008) Hein Online  SSRN 

When the Federal Death Penalty Is 'Cruel and Unusual' , 74 U. Cin. L. Rev. 819 (2006) Hein Online  SSRN 

Ripeness of Self-Incrimination Clause Disputes, 95 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 1261 (2005) Hein Online  pdf  SSRN  

Coerced Confessions and the Fourth Amendment, 30 Hastings Const. L.Q. 57 (2002) Hein Online  pdf  SSRN  

Equal Protection Principles and The Establishment Clause: Equal Participation in the Community as the Central Link, 69 Temp. L. Rev. 95 (1996) Hein Online  pdf



Panelist, Say Her Name: A Day-Long Virtual Symposium on Breonna Taylor, Panel One:  The Substantive Issues, University of Kentucky, J. David Rosenberg College of Law (via Zoom), Oct. 23, 2020

“Eighth Amendment Federalism and Modern Sentencing,” Prison Brake:  Rethinking the Sentencing Status Quo, NACDL’s 2020 Presidential Summit & Sentencing Symposium, Georgetown University Law Center (via Zoom), Oct. 20, 2020

Senior Commenter, Chicagoland Junior Scholars Conference, Northern Illinois University College of Law (via Zoom), Oct. 2, 2020

“The Impossibility Constraint in Criminal Law,” NIU CrimWip Series, Northern Illinois University College of Law (via Zoom), June 18, 2020

“Fraudulently Induced Confessions" 
-  Federalist Society Annual Faculty Conference, Washington, DC, Jan. 4, 2020 
-  CrimFest! 2019, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY, July 15, 2019

“Vagueness as Impossibility” 
- University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law, Mar. 5, 2019 
- Willamette University College of Law, Feb. 11, 2019

“Saving Constructions of Vague Penal Statutes,” CrimFest! 2018, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY, July 16, 2018

“Decentralizing Fourth Amendment Search Doctrine” 
- ABA/AALS CJS Roundtable, Washington, DC, Nov. 2, 2017 
- University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, KY, Sept. 6, 2017 
- Federalist Society Faculty Conference, San Francisco, CA, Jan. 6, 2017