Suja A. Thomas


Professor Suja A. Thomas's research interests include the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendment jury provisions, civil procedure, employment law, theories of constitutional interpretation, and consumer issues. Her book The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries was recently published by Cambridge University Press. Her book Unequal: How Courts Undermine Discrimination Law, co-authored with Sandra Sperino, is in production and will be published in by Oxford University Press in 2017. Her article "Why Summary Judgment is Unconstitutional," published by the Virginia Law Review, has been the basis of arguments in the federal courts and was featured in a piece in The New York Times where her argument was referred to as "perfectly plausible." A panel of the 6th Circuit referred to her historical analysis in that article as "interesting," and her article was the impetus for a symposium of the Iowa Law Review. Professor Thomas's other work has also been influential. Her article on remittitur was the basis of a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court, and a federal judge has commented that "her caution [regarding the effective elimination of the jury trial right through remittitur] merits evaluation by the federal courts." Also, recently, the Wall Street Journal ran an article based on her co-authored article "Employer Costs and Conflicts Under the Affordable Care Act," published by the Cornell Law Review Online.

Professor Thomas earned her bachelor of arts from Northwestern University in mathematics and received her law degree from New York University School of Law. At N.Y.U., she served as an articles editor on the N.Y.U. Law Review, and she received several awards including the Leonard M. Henkin Prize for her note on equal rights under the 14th Amendment, the Mendes Hershman Prize for excellence in writing in the field of property law and the William Miller Memorial Award for outstanding scholarship in the field of municipal law. After graduating from law school and a federal clerkship in Chicago, Professor Thomas practiced law in New York City with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP.

Professor Thomas began her academic career as a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2000 and was a visiting professor at Vanderbilt University Law School in the spring of 2008. She joined the University of Illinois College of Law faculty in the fall of 2008.

Back in the day, Professor Thomas ran several marathons, including Boston, with a personal best of 3:02. She lives in Urbana with her husband Scott and dog Suka.

Follow Professor Thomas on Twitter @sujathomas3

Professor Thomas' website on her jury book is found at

Recent opinion articles and blog posts by Professor Thomas

Our Juries Are Being Circumvented (Law360)

Via Duke, Companies Are Shaping Discovery (Law360)

A Jury, Not the S.E.C. (New York Times)

Why Originalism Does Not Strictly Govern Same Sex Marriage (American Constitution Society)

GM, Discovery, and Juries: How Things Can Get Even Worse for Consumers and Employees (Save Our Juries)


Unequal: How Courts Undermine Discrimination Law (Oxford Univ. Press forthcoming 2017) (with Sandra Sperino)

The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries (Cambridge Univ. Press 2016)

Current Papers and Titles on SSRN

The Missing Branch of the Jury77 Ohio St. L.J. ___ (forthcoming 2016) 

How Atypical Cases Make Bad Rules: A Commentary on the Rulemaking Process (symposium) (co-author Dawson Price)

Introducing Text-Bound Originalism (and Why Originalism Does Not Strictly Govern Same Sex Marriage), 2015 U. Ill. L. Rev. Slip Opinions 61

Blackstone's Curse: The Fall of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries and the Rise of the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary, and the States, 55 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1195 (2014) (symposium)

Fakers and Floodgates, 10 Stan. J. Civ. Rts. & Civ. Libs. 223 (2014) (symposium) (co-author Sandra Sperino)

Summary Judgment and the Reasonable Jury Standard: A Proxy for a Judge's Own View of the Sufficiency of the Evidence?, 97 Judicature 222 (March/April 2014)

Employer Costs and Conflicts Under the Affordable Care Act, 99 Cornell L. Rev. Online 56 (2013) (co-author Peter Molk)

How Atypical, Hard Cases Make Bad Law (See, e.g., Lack of Judicial Restraint in Twombly, Wal-Mart, and Ricci), 48 Wake Forest L. Rev. 989 (2013)

Nonincorporation, 88 Notre Dame L. Rev. 159 (2012)

Keynote: Before and After the Summary Judgment Trilogy, 43 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 499 (2012) (colloquium)

Oddball Iqbal and Twombly and Employment Discrimination, 2011 Ill. L. Rev. 215 

A Limitation on Congress: “In Suits at common law,” 71 Ohio St. L.J. 1071 (2010) (symposium)

The New Summary Judgment Motion: The Motion to Dismiss Under Iqbal and Twombly, 14 Lewis and Clark Law Review 15 (2010) (symposium)

Frivolous Cases, 59 DePaul Law Review 633 (2010) (symposium)

The Fallacy of Dispositive Procedure, 50 B.C. L. Rev. 759 (2009) 

Why the Motion to Dismiss Is Now Unconstitutional, 92 Minn. L. Rev. 1851 (2008)

Why Summary Judgment Is Unconstitutional, 93 Va. L. Rev. 139 (2007)

Why Summary Judgment Is Still Unconstitutional: A Reply to Professors Brunet and Nelson, 93 Iowa L. Rev. 1667 (2008) (symposium)

The Unconstitutionality of Summary Judgment: A Status Report, 93 Iowa L. Rev. 1613 (2008) (symposium)

Judicial Modesty and the Jury, 76 U. Colo. L. Rev. 767 (2005)

The Seventh Amendment, Modern Procedure and the English Common Law, 82 Wash. U. L.Q. 687 (2004)

Re-examining the Constitutionality of Remittitur Under the Seventh Amendment, 64 Ohio St. L.J. 731 (2003)

The Civil Jury: The Disregarded Constitutional Actor, U. of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 07-30