Richard F. Duncan

Learn More 

SSRN IconUNL Digital Commons Icon

Richard F. Duncan

Sherman S. Welpton, Jr. Professor of Law

220 LAW UNL 68583-0902
(402)472-6044 | Email

Areas of Expertise
  • Property
  • Constitutional Law
  • Religion & the Constitution
  • Constitutional Problems
Education
  • J.D., cum laude, 1976, Cornell Law School
  • B.S., magna cum laude, 1973, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Law, 1979
  • Associate Professor of Law, 1982
  • Professor of Law, 1985
  • Sherman S. Welpton Jr. Professor of Law, 1990

Biography

Professor Duncan joined the faculty in 1979. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 1973. In 1976, he received his J.D. degree from the Cornell Law School, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Cornell Law Review. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1977. From 1976-79, he was associated with White & Case, a New York City law firm. Professor Duncan teaches Property and Constitutional Law. He is a passionate and enthusiastic classroom teacher, whose style is not so much Socratic Dialogue as Socratic Performance Art. Professor Duncan has a strong interest in writing and speaking about federalism, liberty, religious freedom, and the right to life. Professor Duncan says that he enjoys teaching because it helps him to stimulate students' minds and challenge accepted views.

Professor Duncan lives on a country road in rural Nebraska. He and his wife, Kelly, have five children (Casey, Joshua, Rebecca Joy, Hannah Grace, and Kathleen Noel).  Professor Duncan's activities outside law include following the Boston Red Sox, bird-watching, weightlifting, working on the native grass and wildflower meadow on the family acreage, and attending various dance, art, athletic, and vocal performances of his children.

Property I & II Property Course Blog

Law 505/G & 506/G (3-6 cr, max 6 per class) Problems in possession, gifts of personal property, bona fide purchasers of personal property, estates in land, landlord and tenant, the modern land transaction, controlling the use of land, easements, licenses and equitable servitudes and constitutional limitations on the power of government to restrict individual economic liberties.

Constitutional Law I Constitutional Law Course Blog

Law 609/G (EDAD *870) (1-4 cr) Structure of the federal government, including the history and judicial interpretation of the Constitution, federalism, interstate commerce, due process, equal protection, and separation of powers.

Constitutional Law II

Law 732/G (EDAD *871) (1-4 cr) Emphasizes protected individual civil liberties. The origin and modern applicability of the state action concept in constitutional litigation; the scope of congressional power to enforce the post Civil War amendments; freedom of speech, association, and press; and constitutional principles enforcing the first amendment's command that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Constitutional Problems Seminar

Law 781/G (1-4 cr) Selected constitutional issues of current importance.

Articles

  • Why I am a Libertarian in Secular America, 8 The Christian Lawyer 6 (Spring 2012).
  • By the Waters of Babylon: Christian Libertarianism in the Age of Obama (2012 Working Paper) (free download available at SSRN-- SSRN Link)
  • The Tea Party's Constitution (2012 working paper) (free download available at SSRN-- SSRN link.)
  • The "Clearest Command" of the Establishment Clause: Denominational Preferences, Religious Liberty, And Public Scholarships That Classify Religions, 55 So. Dak. L. Rev. 390(2010)
  • Umpires Not Activists: The Recent Jurisprudence of the Nebraska Supreme Court (Federalist Society White Paper 2009)
  • Justice Thomas and Partial Incorporation of the Establishment Clause: Herein of Structural Limitations, Liberty Interests, and Taking Incorporation Seriously, 20 Regent L. Rev. 37 (2007).
  • Locked Out: Locke v. Davey and the Broken Promise of Equal Access, 8 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 699 (2006)
  • Free Exercise and Individualized Exemptions: Herein of Smith, Sherbert, Hogwarts and Religious Liberty, 83 Neb. L.Rev.1178(2005).
  • Free Exercise Is Dead, Long Live Free Exercise: Smith, Lukumi and the General Applicability Requirement, 3 U. Pa J. Const. L. 850 (2001)
  • Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education, (Book Review) 16 J. Law & Religion 945 (2001).
  • Parental Opt-Outs In Nebraska Schools: Respecting Freedom of Thought, Parental Rights, and Religious Pluralism, 79 Neb. L. Rev. 922 (2000).
  • 'They Call Me 'Eight Eyes'': Hardwick's Respectability, Romer's Narrowness, And Same-Sex Marriage, 32 Creighton L. Rev. 241 (1998)
  • From Loving To Romer: Homosexual Marriage And Moral Discernment, 12 B.Y.U.J. Public Law 239 (1998)
  • The Narrow And Shallow Bite of Romer And The Eminent Rationality of Dual-Gender Marriage, 6 William & Mary Bill of Rights J. 147 (1997)
  • Wigstock And The Kulturkampf: Supreme Court Storytelling, The Culture War, and Romer v. Evans, 72 Notre Dame L. Rev. 345 (1997)
  • Public Schools And The Inevitability of Religious Inequality, 1996 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 569
  • Homosexual Marriage and the Myth of Tolerance: Is Cardinal O'Connor a "Homophob"? 10 Notre Dame J. Law, Ethics & Pub. Policy 587 (1986)
  • Homosexual Rights and Citizen Initiatives: Is Constitutionalism Unconstitutional, 9 Notre Dame J. of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 97 (1995) (with Young)
  • Who Wants To Stop The Church: Homosexual Rights Legislation, Public Policy, and Religious Freedom, 69 Notre Dame L. Rev. 393 (1994)
  • Religious Civil Rights In Public High Schools: The Supreme Court Speaks on Equal Access, 24 Ind. L. Rev. 111 (1990)
  • Federal Tax Liens and the Secured Party, 21 U.C.C.L.J. 3 (1988) (with Lyons)
  • Loan Payments to Secured Creditors as Preferences Under the 1984 Bankruptcy Amendments, 64 Neb. L. Rev. 83 (1985)
  • Section 547(c)(1) and Delayed Perfection of Security Interests in the Ninth Circuit: Matter of Vance, 721 F.2d 259 (9th Cir. 1983), 58 Am. Bankr. L.J. 269 (1984)
  • Delayed Perfection of Security Interests in Personal Property and the Substantially Contemporaneous Exchange Exception to Preference Attack, 62 Neb. L. Rev. 201 (1983). This article was the subject of a lengthy "digest" in 17 U.C.C.L.J. 82-85 (1984)
  • Preferential Transfers, the Floating Lien, and Section 547 (c)(5) of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, 36 Ark. L. Rev. 1 (1982)
  • Through the Trap Door Darkly: Nebraska Exemption Policy and the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, 60 Neb. L. Rev. 219 (1981)

Books

  • The Law and Practice of Secured Transactions: Working with Article 9 (with Lyons and Wilson)(1987).
  • Hardwick's Landmark Status, Romer's Narrowness, and the Preservation of Marriage, in Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: A Debate, 264-73. (Wardle et al ed.) Praeger 2003).
  • Reflections on the Emperor's Clothes: A Response to Professor David B. Cruz's Theory on Marriage and the First Amendment, in Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: A Debate, 261-63. Wardle et al ed.) (Praeger 2003).
  • Book Chapter: On Liberty and Life In Babylon: A Pilgrim's Pragmatic Proposal, in McConnell et.al, Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (Yale University Press 2001)
  • The Impact of Smith On Free Exercise Issues Concerning Education, contribution to International Perspectives On Church and State (Menachem Mor, ed., 1993)