Kevin J Worthen

Brigham Young University President; Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law

Kevin J Worthen is a noted scholar on federal Indian law and the impact of law on indigenous peoples internationally. He has published in numerous journals including the Harvard, Minnesota, Vanderbilt and North Carolina Law Reviews. He is also author of portions of the 2005 revision of Felix Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law.

His strong interest in Indian law grew during his clerkship for Justice Byron White of the U.S. Supreme Court through the 1983-84 term.

Prior to clerking for Justice White, Professor Worthen clerked for Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He joined the Phoenix law firm of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in 1984 and worked there until coming to teach law at BYU in 1987. In 1994, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Chile. He served as BYU Law School associate dean for academic affairs from 1999 until he was appointed the fifth dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School in 2004. Professor Worthen was the Advancement Vice President for BYU from 2008-2014. He was appointed President of Brigham Young University in 2014.

Courses Taught

  • Federal Indian Law
  • Legislation
  • State and Local Government
  • Torts I
  • Torts II
  • Environmental Law
  • Professional Seminar
  • Civil Procedure I
  • State & Local Gov I
  • Civil Procedure II
  • Civil Procedure II(Rpt
  • State & Local Gov II
  • Amer Indian Law
  • Public Interest
  • American Indian Law
  • State and Local Government II
  • State & Local Govt I
  • State & Local Govt II
  • State Local Govt I
  • State Const Law
  • Local Govt & Municipal Law
  • Local Govt/Municipal Law
  • State Local Gov I
  • Local & Municipal Law
  • State Local Govt II
  • Contracts I
  • Law Firm Externship
  • State & Local Government I
  • Contracts II
  • Rights/Indigenous People in Int. & Comp
  • Contracts
  • State & Local Govt. I
  • State & Local Government 1
  • Structures of the Constitution

Education

  • J.D., Brigham Young University, 1982
  • B.A., Brigham Young University, 1979
  • A.S., College of Eastern Utah, 1979

Publications

  • The NCAA and Religion: Insights About Non-State Governance from Sunday Play and End Zone Celebrations, 2010 Utah L. Rev. 123 ( 2010). [SSRN]
  • Eagle Feathers and Equality: Lessons on Religious Exceptions for the Native American Experience, 76 Colo. L. Rev. 989 (2005). [SSRN]
  • Who Decides and What Difference Does It Make? Defining Marriage in "Our Democratic, Federal Republic, 18 BYU J. Pub. L. 273 (2004). [SSRN]
  • Discipline: An Academic Dean's Perspective on Dealing with Plagiarism, 2004 BYU ed. & L. J. 441 (2004). [SSRN]
  • Who's In Charge Here? Tribal, State, and Federal Authority Over Non-Indian Resource Development in Indian Country, 47 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Rev. 2-1 (2001). [SSRN]
  • Protecting the Sacred Sites of Indigenous Peoples in U.S. Courts: Reconciling Native American Religion and the Right to Exclude, 13 St. Thomas L. Rev. 239 (2000). [SSRN]
  • The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Light of Thornton: The People and Essential Attributes of Sovereignty, 1998 BYU L. Rev. 137. [SSRN]
  • The Grand Experiment, Evaluating Indian Law in the "New World", 5 Tulsa J. Int'l & Comp. L. 229 (1998). [SSRN]
  • The Role of Indigenous Groups in Constitutional Democracies, A lesson from Chile and the United States, in The Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Cynthia Price Cohen, ed. 1998). [SSRN]
  • Who Will Control the Future of Indian Gaming?, "A Few Pages of History are Worth a Volume Of Logic," 1996 BYU L. Rev. 407 (co-author with Wayne Farnsworth). [SSRN]
  • Shirt Tales, Clerking for Byron White, 1994 BYU L. Rev. 349. [SSRN]
  • Two Sides of the Same Coin, The Potential Normative Power of American Cities and Indian Tribes, 44 Vand. L. Rev. 1273 (1991). [SSRN]
  • Why Indian Law?, (Book Review), 1 Greenbag 341 (1998).
  • One Small Step for Courts, One Giant Leap for Group Rights, Accommodating the Associational Role of "Intimate" Government Entities, 71 N.C. L. Rev. 595 (1993).
  • The "Pivotal" Role of Local Governments in Striking the Proper Balance Between Individualism and Communitarianism, Lessons For and From Americans, 1993 BYU L. Rev. 475.
  • Sword or Shield, The Past and Future Impact of Western Legal Thought on American Indian Sovereignty (Book Review), 104 Harv. L. Rev. 1372 (1991).
  • Shedding New Light on an Old Debate, A Federal Indian Law Perspective on Congressional Authority to Limit Federal Question Jurisdiction, 75 Minn. L. Rev. 65 (1990).
  • The Last Shall be First, and the First Last, Ruminations on the Past, Present and Future Course of Government Regulation of Hazardous Pollutants, 1989 BYU L. Rev. 1113.

Experience

  • President, Brigham Young University, 2014-present
  • Advancement Vice President, Brigham Young University, 2008-2014
  • Dean, J. Reuben Clark Law School, 2004-2008
  • Associate Dean, J. Reuben Clark Law School, 1999-2004
  • Professor, J. Reuben Clark Law School, 1987-present
  • Practice, Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, Phoenix, 1984-1987
  • Clerk, Judge Byron R. White, U.S. Supreme Court, 1984
  • Clerk, Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1982-1983