Photo of Sharon Rush

Sharon Elizabeth Rush

Associate Dean for Faculty Development
Irving Cypen Professor of Law
Associate Director, Center on Children & Families
Co-founder, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations



Mailing Address:
Box #117625 Gainesville, FL 32611


(352) 273-0948

Sharon E. Rush teaches constitutional law and federal courts. She practiced law at the firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft before joining the faculty at DePaul University in Chicago where she taught for two years prior to joining the Florida faculty. Prof. Rush is an expert on separation of powers, federalism, children’s rights, equal protection, due process, and race relations. She co-founded the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, one of a few law school centers that focuses on race. She is the author of Loving Across the Color Line: A White Adoptive Mother Learns About Race (2000), which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and Huck Finn’s “Hidden” Lessons: Teaching and Learning Across the Color Line (2006). Her articles have been published in law reviews and journals at many of the top law schools and she also has contributed numerous chapters to books published by acclaimed academic presses such as Vanderbilt University, New York University, Cornell University, North Carolina Press, and Oxford University.

Prof. Rush achieved the honor of being cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Ankenbrandt v. Richards, Inc. 504 U.S. 689 (1992), a case that raised questions about the scope of the domestic relations exception to federal jurisdiction. Professor Rush’s teaching influence extends around the world to South Africa, Poland, Germany, Mexico, and France and she has been a visiting professor at several law schools, including Cornell University, her alma mater. She also has received several Outstanding Teaching Awards. Prof. Rush’s current research projects focus on the relationship between group political power and an individual’s right to equal protection. Professor Rush’s scholarship can be found on:


J.D., Cornell University (cum laude); B.A., Cornell University

Teaching and Scholarship

  • Civil Procedure, Comparative Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, Fourteenth Amendment, Children's Rights.

Professional Activities

  • University of Florida: Joined faculty in 1986 as Associate Professor. Served as Associate Dean (1988-89). Professor and Irving Cypen Professor (1998), Teacher of the Year (1988, 1991, 1998), Dean's Sustained Performance Recognition (1997, 1999). Named Associate Director of Center on Children & the Law in 2001, and was co-founder of Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations.
  • Previous Academic Experience: De Paul University College of Law: Assistant Professor (1982-85), Associate Professor (1985-86); Visiting Faculty at University of Baltimore Law School (1990-91), American University's Washington College of Law (1993-93), Cornell Law School (1994-95), Montpellier University (France, Summer 2000).
  • Private Practice: Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Washington, D.C. (1980-82).
  • Associations: District of Columbia Bar Association, American Bar Association, Cornell Law Association, American Association of Law Schools (Sections on Federal Courts, Education, Constitutional Law and Minorities), Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Society of American Law Teachers, Association of American University Women.

Constitutional Law (4 credits) - LAW 5501

Federal Courts (3 credits) - LAW 6302


  • Political Power and Equal Protection: The Role of the Court (research stage)
  • Huck Finn's Hidden Lessons: Teaching and Learning Across the Color Line (Roman & Littlefield, 2006)
  • Loving Across the Color Line; A White Adoptive Mother Learns about Race (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000) (Nominated for NAACP Image Award)
  • Feminist Jurisprudence, Women and the Law: Research Essays and Bibliography (Rothman Press, 1998) (eds. with B. Taylor & R. Munro)

Book Chapters

  • ”Miscegenation” in Encyclopedia of Family Studies (Constance Shehan, ed.) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015)
  • “Doing Anti-racism: Toward an Egalitarian American Society,” in Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Social Class: Dimensions of Inequality (S.J. Ferguson, ed.) (Sage Pub., 2015) (with Joe Feagin and Jacqueline Johnson)(reprinted from 29(1) Contemporary Sociology 95 (2000)) (Note: also published in the 2012 edition)
  • ”The Town/Gown Relationship: Duke, Durham, and Dignity,” in Race to Injustice (Michael Seigel, ed., North Carolina Press, 2009) pp. 55-77
  • ”Toto, I Have A Feeling We Are Still in Kansas,” in Law Touched Our Hearts (M. Robinson and R. Bonnie, ed., Vanderbilt University Press, 2009) pp. 43-49


  • "Equal Protection and Federalism: A Strange Marriage?" (research stage)
  • "Federalism, Diversity, Equality, and Article III Judges: Geography, Identity and Bias," 79 Missouri Law Review 119 (2014)
  • “Talking About Race and Equality,” 22 University of Florida Journal of Law & Public Policy 417 (2011)
  • "Protecting the Dignity and Equality of Children: The Importance of Integrated Schools," 20 Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review 71-119 (2010)
  • "Whither Sexual Orientation Analysis: The Proper Methodology When Due Process and Equal Protection Intersect," 16 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 685-745 (2008)
  • "Lessons From and For 'Disabled' Students, 8 University of Iowa Journal of Gender and Race 73-97(2004) (symposium)
  • "Emotional Segregation: Huckleberry Finn in the Modern Classroom," 36 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 305 (2003).
  • "The Anti-canonical Lesson of Huckleberry Finn," Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy (2002).
  • "Foreword: Culture, Nationhood, and the Human Rights Ideal," 33 Michigan Journal of Law Reform 233 (with Berta Hernandez-Truyol, 2000).
  • "Doing Anti-Racism: Making an Egalitarian Future," 29 Contemporary Sociology 95 (with Joe R. Feagin / Jacqueline Johnson, 2000).
  • "Sharing Space: Why Racial Goodwill Isn't Enough," 32 Connecticut Law Review 1 (1999).
  • "Diversity: The Red Herring of Equal Protection Analysis," American University Journal of Gender & The Law (1998).
  • "The Education of Immigrant Children: The Competing Goals of State Sovereignty and Racial Equality," 1 Rutgers Race & The Law Review 155 (1998).