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Distinguished Professor of Law, Wayne State University

Robert A. Sedler is a distinguished professor at Wayne State University Law School, where he teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Conflict of Laws.

Prior to coming to Wayne State in 1977, he was a professor of law at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Professor Sedler earned his A.B. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1956 and his law degree degree from the same university in 1959. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.

In 2005, he was elected to the Wayne State University Academy of Scholars, which is the highest recognition that may be bestowed upon faculty members by their colleagues. He served as president of the academy during the 2007-08 academic year.

Professor Sedler has published extensively in both of his fields, and there have been many citations to his works by courts and academic commentators. In 1994, he published a book on American Constitutional Law for the International Encyclopedia of Laws. The book was updated and republished in 2000 and 2005. It was updated and republished in 2012 with the title Constitutional Law in the United States.

Professor Sedler has litigated a large number of civil rights and civil liberties cases in Michigan, Kentucky and elsewhere, mostly as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union. Cases he has litigated in Michigan include the Dearborn Parks case, the racial discrimination in adoption and foster care case, a challenge to the suspicionless drug testing of welfare recipients. He served as a member of the Social Action Commission of the Union for Reform Judaism from 2003 to 2009 and is a member of its Amicus Brief Committee.

Professor Sedler was named a Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Wayne State for 1985-87 and received the Donald H. Gordon Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1988. From 2000 to 2005, he held the Gibbs Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He also has received awards from the NAACP Kentucky Conference in 1975, ACLU of Kentucky in 1976, NAACP Metropolitan Detroit Branch in 1986, Southwestern Michigan ACLU in 1988, Metropolitan Detroit ACLU in 1994, Oakland County ACLU in 2002 (together with Rozanne Sedler) and Metropolitan Detroit Chapter of the American Jewish Committee in 2012 (together with Rozanne Sedler).

He was the chairperson of the Michigan State Bar Constitutional Law Committee from 1981 to 1987 and of the Legal Education Committee from 1988 to 1994. In 2012, he was awarded the State Bar of Michigan John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award, which is presented periodically to an educator from a Michigan law school whose influence on lawyers has elevated the quality of legal practice in the state.


  • –present
    Distinguished Professor of Law, Wayne State University


State Bar of Michigan John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award; Honorary Professor, Ural State Law University, Yekatinburg, Russia, Phi Beta Kappa, Order of the CCoif