Philip Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. His work wrestles with problems in a wide range of fields, including religious liberty, freedom of speech, the regulation of science, Anglo-American history, and constitutional law. Among his writings on religion is Separation of Church and State (Harvard 2002), which explores how theological prejudices have reshaped American understandings of religious liberty. His other writings on religion, such as "More is Less" Virginia Law Review (2004) and "Religious Liberty in Philadelphia" Emory Law Journal (2005), examine the historical and conceptual foundations of the free exercise of religion in order to understand the tension between expansive definitions of this liberty and its equality and inalienability.
His most recent historical work is Law and Judicial Duty (Harvard 2008)--a book that traces the early history of "judicial review." It shows that what today is considered a judicially created power to review the constitutionality of statutes was once understood to be merely an aspect of the judges' ordinary duty to exercise judgment in accord with the law of the land. His historical writings include "Liberality" Texas Law Review (2002), which traces the eighteenth-century development of modern liberal ideas and their relationship to modernization.
Increasingly, he has worked on the regulation of science, especially the laws on human-subjects research. In a series of articles, most elaborately in "Getting Permission" Northwestern Law Review (2007), he shows that the regulations on human-subjects research establish a system of censorship. His scholarship shows that, although such laws were designed to protect human subjects, they suppress scientific inquiry and knowledge, with predictably tragic costs for human life.