Jeffrey Usman

Court of Appeals Judge
Year Elected/Appointed
Previous Employment

Tenured Law Professor at the Belmont University College of Law, 2012-2022

Career Law Clerk to Justice William C. Koch, Jr. of the Tennessee Court of Appeals & Tennessee Supreme Court, 2007-2012

Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General and Reporter, 2006-2007

Law Clerk to Judge Mary Beck Briscoe of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 2004-2005

Law Clerk to Judge W. Harold Albritton of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, 2003-2004

LL.M. -- Harvard Law School, 2006
J.D. -- Vanderbilt University Law School, 2003 (Order of the Coif)
A.B. -- Georgetown University, 2000 (Phi Beta Kappa & magna cum laude)

Public Interest Service Award

Belmont University College of Law Best Professor Award – Five-time recipient

Belmont University Chaney Distinguished Professor Award Finalist

Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Class Selection

Tennessee Supreme Court Attorney for Justice – Recognized in multiple years


Belmont University College of Law American Inn of Court

Federalist Society

Friends of Illuminate Academy

Nashville Bar Association

St. Lawrence Catholic Church

Tennessee Bar Association


Rhodes and Usman on State Constitutional Law (forthcoming treatise 2024)

Presidential Authority & the Federal Death Penalty: A Response to Professor J. Richard Broughton’s the Federal Death Penalty, Trumpism, and Civil Rights Enforcement, 68 Am. U. L. Rev. F. 39 (2019) (invited response)

State Legislatures and Solving the Eighth Amendment Ratchet Puzzle, 20 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 677 (2018)

Defamation and the Government Employee: Redefining Who Constitutes a Public Official, 47 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 247 (2015)

Finding the Lost Involuntary Public Figure, 2014 Utah L. Rev. 951 (2014)

Constitutional Constraints on Retroactive Civil Legislation: The Hollow Promises of the Federal Constitution and Unrealized Potential of State Constitutions, 14 Nev. L.J. 63 (2013)

Capital Punishment, Cultural Competency, and Litigating Intellectual Disability, 42 U. Mem. L. Rev. 855 (2012) (symposium)

Good Enough for Government Work: The Interpretation of Positive Constitutional Rights in State Constitutions, 73 Alb. L. Rev. 1459 (2010)

The Game is Afoot: Constitutionalizing the Right to Hunt and Fish in the Tennessee Constitution, 77 Tenn. L. Rev. 57 (2009)

Ancient and Modern Character Evidence: How Character Evidence Was Used in Ancient Athenian Trials, Its Uses in the United States, and What This Means for How These Democratic Societies’ Understand the Role of Jurors, 33 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 1 (2008)

Defining Religion: The Struggle to Define Religion Under the First Amendment and the Contributions and Insights of Other Disciplines of Study, Including Theology, Psychology, Sociology, and the Arts, 83 N.D. L. Rev. 123 (2007)

Middle Section

401 7th Avenue
Suite 221
Nashville, TN 37219
United States