Rabia Belt is a legal historian whose scholarship focuses on disability and citizenship. Her scholarship ranges from cultural analysis of disability in media, to contemporary issues facing voters with disability, to the historical treatment of disabled Americans. She is currently writing a book titled, “Disabling Democracy in America: Mental Incompetence, Citizenship, Suffrage, and the Law, 1819-1920” that is forthcoming with in the Studies in Legal History Series with Cambridge University Press. In 2015, the American Society of Legal History named her a Kathryn T. Preyer Scholar for her paper, “Ballots for Bullets? The Disenfranchisement of Civil War Veterans.”
Professor Belt is also an advocate for people with disabilities. In 2016, President Obama named her as a Councilmember to the National Council on Disability, the independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies and practices that affect people with disabilities. Additionally, she served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Disability Rights Bar Association.
Prior to joining the Stanford Law faculty, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Research Academic Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center. Earlier in her career, she was a summer associate at Preston, Gates & Ellis, LLP, a parliamentary intern with the South African Human Rights Commission, and a research intern at the Office of the Monitor for Pigford v. Glickman & Brewington v. Glickman. She received her JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 2009 and her PhD in American Studies from the University of Michigan in 2015.
Fields of Study
- 19th and 20th c. U.S. History, Disability History, Legal History, Law of Democracy
- History of Suffrage, African American History, American Indian History, Gender History