Overview

Mr. Phillips is a member of the firm’s First Amendment and Religious Organizations section. He has trial and appellate litigation briefing experience in state and federal courts across the country, having previously worked for a public interest law firm that focuses on religious liberty, as well as a U.S. Supreme Court and appellate specialist. To date, he has worked on 20 U.S. Supreme Court cases or petitions.

Mr. Phillips was also a visiting assistant professor at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law, where he conceptualized and supervised the initial development of the Corpus of Founding Era American English. He is one of the pioneers of applying corpus linguistics to constitutional interpretation, having published five articles on the topic, and has published over two dozen academic articles in all. He has a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from UC-Berkeley, and is currently a Nonresident Fellow with the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a member of the Executive Committee of the Religious Liberty Practice Group of the Federalist Society.

Experience

Constitutional Law Fellow, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (2017-18)

Law Clerk, Judge Thomas B. Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (2016-17)

Law Clerk, Justice Thomas R. Lee, Utah Supreme Court (2015-16)

Visiting Assistant Professor, J. Reuben Clark Law School (BYU) (2015)

Law Clerk, Law Offices of Gene Schaerr (2014-15)

News & Events

Publications

  • Corpus Linguistics and “Officers of the United States”, 42 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 871 (2019) (with Benjamin Lee & Jacob Crump)
  • Data-driven Originalism, 167 U. Penn. L. Rev. 261 (2019) (with Thomas Lee)
  • Is American Legal Scholarship Losing its Religion, or Just Playing Favorites?: An Empirical Examination, 1998-2012, Pepperdine L. Rev. (forthcoming)
  • The Meaning of the Three Emoluments Clauses in the U.S. Constitution: A Corpus Linguistic Analysis of American English, 1769-1799, 59 So. Texas L. Rev. 181 (2017) (with Sara White)
  • Advancing Law & Corpus Linguistics: Importing Principles and Practices from Survey and Content-Analysis Methodologies to Improve Corpus Design and Analysis, 2017 BYU L. Rev. 1589 (with Jesse Egbert)
  • Corpus Linguistics and Original Public Meaning: A New Tool to Make Originalism More Empirical, 126 Yale L. J. F. 21 (2016) (with Daniel Ortner and Thomas R. Lee)
  • Is Stare Decisis Inconsistent with the Original Meaning of the Constitution?: Exploring the Theoretical and Empirical Possibilities, 91 Notre Dame L. Rev. Online 115 (2016)
  • Separate Because Unequal: The Ninth Circuit’s Mangling of the First Amendment in Reed v. Gilbert, 119 Penn. St. L. Rev. Penn. Statim (2014)
  • Law and Religion in U.S. Legal Scholarship: An Empirical Examination, 2008-2012, 2014 BYU L. Rev. 635
  • “All of the Blood and Treasure”: The Founders on Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 30 Miss. C. L. Rev. 15 (2011)
  • The Fairness Doctrine in Light of Hostile Media Perception: A Psychological Critique, 19 CommLaw Conspectus 395 (2011) (with Trevor Hall)
  • Oral Argument in the Early Roberts Court: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Individual Judicial Behavior, 11 J. App. Prac. & Process 325 (2010) (with Edward L. Carter)
  • Source of Information or “Dog and Pony Show”? Judicial Information Seeking During U. S. Supreme Court Oral Argument, 1963-65 & 2004-09, 50 Santa Clara L. Rev. 79 (2010) (with Edward L. Carter)
  • Gender and U. S. Supreme Court Oral Argument on the Roberts Court: An Empirical Examination, 41 Rutgers L. J. 613 (2010) (with Edward L. Carter)
  • “Executing the Powers With Which It Is Entrusted”: Justifications, Definitions and Limitations of Government Speech, 14 Communication L. & Policy 453 (2009) (with Edward L. Carter, Kevin Kemper, and Anesha Brown)
  • Broadcast Profanity and the “Right to Be Left Alone”: Can the FCC Regulate Non-Indecent Fleeting Expletives Under a Privacy Model?, 31 Hastings Communication & Ent. L. J. 101 (2008) (with Edward L. Carter and Trevor R. Hall)
  • The Mormon Education of a Gentile Justice: George Sutherland and the Brigham Young Academy, 33 J. of Sup. Ct. Hist. 322 (2008) (with Edward L. Carter)
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