Peter D. EnrichProfessor of Law
Yale University, BA 1972
Harvard University, JD 1983
Mail: 416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: (617) 373-5094
Fax: (617) 373-5056
Professor Enrich is a leading authority on state and local government and state tax policy, and frequently serves as an advisor to state and local governments and to advocacy groups interested in state and local fiscal policy. He teaches Contracts, State and Local Government, State and Local Taxation, and Legal Skills in Social Context. His areas of research and expertise include state taxation of businesses, tax equity, relationships between different levels of government and funding of public education.
In his seminal 1996 Harvard Law Review article, “Saving the States from Themselves: Commerce Clause Constraints on State Tax Incentives for Business,” Professor Enrich argued that a ubiquitous element of state economic policy — tax breaks to reward large corporations for locating investment in the jurisdiction — not only are poor public policy but also frequently violate the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Since the article was published, Professor Enrich has consistently been in demand as one of the nation’s foremost experts in this field. Working together with consumer activist Ralph Nader, he pursued pathbreaking litigation challenging the constitutionality of state tax giveaways used to compete for businesses. After achieving a victory in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Professor Enrich argued the case before the US Supreme Court in 2006. The high court overturned the Sixth Circuit's ruling on procedural grounds, without reaching the constitutional merits.
Professor Enrich was general counsel to the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance before joining the law school's faculty. Following law school, Professor Enrich clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer during his tenure on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He also served two terms as an elected selectman in Lexington, Massachusetts, and he continues to play an active role in Massachusetts progressive politics and policy advocacy. Prior to his legal career, Professor Enrich was a doctoral student and instructor of philosophy at Princeton University, and an instructor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, specializing in epistemology and social theory.
Fields of Expertise
- Education Law and Finance
- First Amendment
- Jurisprudence Philosophy
- Land Use
- Public Finance
- Public Regulation
- State/Local Government
- Tax Law
- “Federal Courts and State Taxes: Some Jurisdictional Issues with Special Attention to the Tax Injunction Act,” 65 Tax Lawyer 731 (2012).
- “Constraining State Business Tax Incentives: The Commerce Clause’s Role,” State Tax Notes (2007).
- “Race and Money, Courts and Schools: Tentative Lessons from Connecticut,” 36 Indiana Law Review 523 (2003).
- “Nostalgic Federalism”, 28 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 1 (2000) (co-author).
- “Local and State Regulation of Tobacco: The Effects of the Proposed National Settlement,” 35 Harvard Journal on Legislation 87 (1998) (co-author).
- “Saving the States from Themselves: Commerce Clause Constraints on State Tax Incentives for Business,” 110 Harvard Law Review 2 (1996).
- “Leaving Equality Behind: New Directions in School Finance Reform,” 48 Vanderbilt Law Review 101 (1995).
- Comment, “Citizen and Taxpayer Standing (Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State),” 96 Harvard Law Review 196 (1982).
- “State Tax Incentives and Subsidies to Business,” in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, Supplement II, ed. L. Levy et al. (McMillan Reference, 1999).
- “The Rise — and Perhaps the Fall — of Business Tax Incentives,” in The Future of State Taxation, ed. D. Brunori (Urban Institute Press, 1998).
- “Municipal Powers to Regulate the Sale and Use of Tobacco,” in Controlling the Sale and Use of Tobacco Products in Massachusetts: A Legal Policy Manual for Municipal Officials and Public Health Officers, ed. G. Kelder (Tobacco Free Massachusetts Coalition, 1994) (revised 2000).
- “Lifting Charter Cap Would Send District Schools Spiraling,” The Boston Globe (April 9, 2016).
- “Losing Bidder Goes to Court to Block Commuter Rail Deal,” The Boston Globe (March 6, 2014).
- Radio interview: “Northeastern Study: Not Enough Spots In Massachusetts Vocational Schools,” Radio Boston, WBUR (September 17, 2014).
- Radio interview: “Learning About Nevada's Film Incentives,” Nevada Public Radio (January 15, 2014).