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Susan Raeker-Jordan

Professor of Law

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Curriculum Vitae

Phone: 717.541.3945

“Many of my courses are those taken in the first year of law school, so many of my students are brand new to the law. I get immense professional satisfaction from nurturing those students’ development from legal novices to young legal professionals: seeing those light bulbs go on and witnessing the transformation.” 

Susan Raeker-Jordan teaches in the areas of torts, civil procedure, criminal law, capital punishment, and disability law. Her research and writing has focused on capital punishment and the Eighth Amendment, with a number of articles in leading law reviews. Sparked in part by a stint teaching in the Lausanne International Law Institute, her current research interests are in disability discrimination law and comparative disability discrimination law.

Professor Raeker-Jordan joined the faculty at Widener in 1990. She was an assistant professor from 1993-96, an associate professor from 1996-2005, and professor of law since 2005. She was associate dean for faculty research and development from 2007-09. She also taught legal methods on the law school’s Delaware campus from 1990-93.

Professor Raeker-Jordan currently serves as secretary of the AALS Section on Law and Mental Disability. She served as an editor of the South Carolina Law Review.

  • Torts I and II
  • Civil Procedure I and II
  • Criminal Law (Summer Start Program)
  • Capital Punishment (Seminar)
  • Disability Law

Selected Publications

  • Kennedy, Kennedy, and the Eighth Amendment: “Still in Search of a Unifying Principle”? 73 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 107 (2011).
  • Impeachment Calls and Death Threats:  Assessing Criticisms of the Death Penalty Jurisprudence of Justices Kennedy and O’Connor, 52 Wayne L. Rev. 1127 (2006).
  • Parsing Personal Predilections:  A Fresh Look at the Supreme Court’s Cruel and Unusual Death Penalty Jurisprudence, 58 Me. L. Rev. 99 (2006).
  • A Study in Judicial Sleight of Hand: Did Geier v. American Honda Motor Co. Eradicate the Presumption Against Preemption?, 17 BYU J. Pub. L. 1 (2002).
  • The Pre-Emption Presumption that Never Was: Pre-Emption Doctrine Swallows the Rule, 40 Ariz. L. Rev. 1379 (1998).
  • A Pro-Death, Self-Fulfilling Constitutional Construct: The Supreme Court’s Evolving Standard of Decency for the Death Penalty, 23 Hastings Const. L.Q. 455 (1996).
  • Annual Survey of South Carolina Law/ Tort Law: Plaintiff Does Not Need to Allege a "Sale" in a Strict Liability Action, 39 S.C. L. Rev. 206 (1987).
  • Annual Survey of South Carolina Law/ Tort Law: Liability of Information Suppliers Expanded, 39 S.C. L. Rev. 194 (1987).
  • Annual Survey of South Carolina Law/Practice and Procedure: Defendant Not Allowed to Assert Collateral Estoppel Against Stranger to Prior Judgment, 39 S.C. L. Rev. 122 (1987).


BA, University of Maine, High Distinction
JD, University of South Carolina School of Law, Order of the Coif


Legal Writing Instructor, Widener University School of Law, Delaware
Associate Attorney, Lord, Bissell & Brook, Chicago
Public Interest Law Fellow, Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago

Bar Admissions

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


Association of American Law Schools Section on Law and Mental Disability where she currently serves as Secretary
American Bar Association

faculty directory a-d e-k l-p q-z