Teaching & Research Interests: Constitutional Law and the United States Supreme Court
A native of Owensboro, Kentucky, Professor Denning earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Tennessee School of Law. He then spent two years in the health law group at Baker, Donelson, Bearman and Caldwell, P.C. in Memphis.
Opportunity led Professor Denning north in 1997 to Yale Law School where he took a position as a research associate and Senior Fellow. He earned an LL.M. degree from Yale in 1999. From 1999-2003, he taught at the Southern Illinois University School of Law before joining the Cumberland faculty. During the summers, he regularly teaches constitutional law at the University of Tennessee College of Law and in Cumberland’s Study Abroad Program at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University. He was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Cumberland in 2014; in 2018 he was named the Starnes Professor of Law.
Professor Denning writes in the area of constitutional law; specifically he has written on the Commerce Clause and the dormant commerce clause; judicial and executive branch appointments; the constitutional amendment process; foreign affairs and the Constitution; and the Second Amendment. He collaborated with Boris I. Bittker, Late Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale on Bittker on the Regulation of Interstate Commerce and Foreign Commerce (Aspen Law and Business 1999), and is sole author of the second edition.
Most recently, he published Guns and the Law: Cases, Materials, and Explanation (with Andrew Jay McClurg), a casebook published by Carolina Academic Press that covers various aspects of the legal regulation of firearms from the Second Amendment to the laws governing the use of deadly force. In addition, the second editions of The Glannon Guide to Constitutional Law: Governmental Structure and Powers and The Glannon Guide to Constitutional Law: Individual Rights and Liberties, were recently published by WoltersKluwer. He also wrote Developing Professional Skills: Constitutional Law, an innovative text that furnishes materials allowing students to hone their drafting, analysis, and negotiation skills through constitutional law problems. In addition, he is the co-author of Becoming a Law Professor: A Candidate’s Guide, a soup-to-nuts guide for the aspiring legal academic.
Professor Denning’s other writings have been published in Foreign Affairs, Constitutional Commentary, the Northwestern University Law Review, the William and Mary Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the American Journal of International Law, the Wisconsin Law Review, the Tulane Law Review, and Law and Contemporary Problems among other journals and periodicals. He was the recipient of the 2008 Harvey S. Jackson Excellence in Teaching Award for upper-level classes and of the Lightfoot, Franklin & White award for Faculty Scholarship, which he won in 2012 and again in 2016.
Degrees and Certifications
- LL.M., Yale Law School
- J.D., Magna Cum Laude, University of Tennessee School of Law
- B.A., Magna Cum Laude, University of the South
Recent Publications and Works-in-Progress
- Constitutional Law: Powers and Liberties (6th ed. forthcoming 2019 & annual supplements) (with the late Calvin Massey).
- Guns and the Law: Cases, Problems, and Explanation (with Andrew J. McClurg) (2016).
- Can Judges Be Uncivilly Obedient?, 60 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2018).
- Zone of Interests Standing in Constitutional Cases after Lexmark, 21 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 97 (2017) (with Sarah F. Bothma).
- Is There a Second Amendment “Right to be Negligent?” 68 Fla. L. Rev. Forum 99 (2017).