Benjamin Priester

Benjamin J. Priester

Director for Accreditation & Online Programs
Associate Professor of Law


Phone: 305.623.2398


St. Thomas University College of Law
Faculty Suite
16401 NW 37th Ave
Miami Gardens, FL 33054


A.B., Harvard University
J.D., Duke University School of Law


Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure

Benjamin ‘B.J.’ Priester

Professor Priester has been a law professor for twenty years, teaching criminal law and criminal procedure, constitutional law, civil procedure, and a wide range of elective courses. Previously, he taught at Florida A&M University College of Law, Florida State University College of Law, and Florida Coastal School of Law, where he served a three-year term as Associate Dean of Faculty Development. His legal scholarship has focused on issues in constitutional criminal procedure, including the constitutional principles which constrain judicial factfinding when imposing sentences in criminal cases and recent developments in Fourth Amendment search and seizure doctrines. His current works-in-progress undertake a critique of originalist constitutional interpretation from an interdisciplinary perspective not yet found in existing legal scholarship.

Prior to becoming a law professor, Professor Priester served as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan H. Black of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Jacksonville, Florida, and worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Ropes & Gray. He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Government and summa cum laude from Duke Law School.

Scholarship & Research


Books and Book Chapters:



Benjamin J. Priester, Media Paratext and Constitutional Interpretation, 55 CREIGHTON L. REV. 1 (2021)

Benjamin J. Priester, A Warrant Requirement Resurgence? The Fourth Amendment in the Roberts Court, 93 ST. JOHN’S L. REV. 89 (2019)

Benjamin J. Priester, From Jones To Jones: Fifteen Years of Incoherence in the Constitutional Law of Sentencing Factfinding, 47 UNIV. TOLEDO L. REV. 413 (2016)

Benjamin J. Priester, Five Questions and Three Answers after United States v. Jones (2012), the Fourth Amendment “GPS Case”, 65 OKLA. L. REV. 491 (2013)

Benjamin J. Priester, Apprendi Land Becomes Bizarro World: “Policy Nullification” and Other Surreal Doctrines in the New Constitutional Law of Sentencing, 51 SANTA CLARA L. REV. 1 (2011)

Benjamin J. Priester, Terrorist Detention: Directions for Reform, 45 U. RICH. L. REV. 1201 (2009) (symposium)

Benjamin J. Priester, Who Is A “Terrorist”? Drawing the Line Between Criminal Defendants and Military Enemies, 2008 UTAH L. REV. 1255 (2008)

Benjamin J. Priester, The Canine Metaphor and the Future of Sentencing Reform: Dogs, Tails, and the Constitutional Law of Wagging, 60 S.M.U. L. REV. 209 (2007)

Benjamin J. Priester, Return of the Great Writ: Judicial Review of the Detention of Alleged Terrorists as Enemy Combatants, 37 RUTGERS L.J. 39 (2005)

Benjamin J. Priester, Structuring Sentencing: Apprendi, the Offense of Conviction, and the Limited Role of Constitutional Law, 79 INDIANA L.J. 863 (2004)

Benjamin J. Priester, Constitutional Formalism and the Meaning of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 38 AM. CRIM. L. REV. 281 (2001)

H. Jefferson Powell & Benjamin J. Priester, Convenient Shorthand: The Supreme Court and the Language of State Sovereignty, 71 U. COLO. L. REV. 645 (2000)

Benjamin J. Priester, Paul G. Rozelle & Mirah A. Horowitz, The Independent Counsel Statute: A Legal History, 62 LAW & CONTEMP. PROBS. 5, 8-37 (Winter 1999)

Benjamin J. Priester, Note, Sentenced for a “Crime” the Government Did Not Prove: Jones v. United States and the Constitutional Limitations on Factfinding by Sentencing Factors Rather Than Elements of the Offense, 61 LAW & CONTEMP. PROBS. 249 (Autumn 1998)

  • Civil Procedure
  • Criminal Procedure

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