Separation of Powers

Statements and Standards in Trump v. Hawaii

June 28, 2018

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court sided with the Trump Administration in Trump v. Hawaii, the challenge to the third iteration of the President’s travel ban. President Trump quickly characterized the decision as “a tremendous victory,” and in the Manichaean world the President seems to inhabit, it’s definitely a win. But the opinion itself—which leaves the…

The President’s Duty to Defend Against Cyber-Attacks

February 22, 2018

Recent developments in the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections have raised interesting questions about the obligations of the current President — or any President — in a situation where a foreign government or its agents have interfered with the American political process or used the Internet in other ways to harm…

President Trump, #MeToo, and Congressional Power

February 20, 2018

Does Congress have the power to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump, as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently demanded? Could Congress impeach the President on those grounds? Answering these difficult questions requires an appreciation of the limits of congressional authority to hold the President accountable for past transgressions. A #MeToo Reckoning for Trump?…

Will the Federal Judiciary Remain a Check and Balance After Trump?

February 16, 2018

Donald J. Trump is no stranger to the power of judges. As a businessman, he bragged about how he used lawsuits to protect his brand and to dodge bad investments through the bankruptcy process. Then, as a candidate for President, he showed his clear disdain for the independent role that judges play in our democracy….

Into the Redistricting Woods

February 13, 2018

This post is the first in a series about the redistricting cases moving through the courts. In the Spring of 2013, two prominent election lawyers, a Republican and a Democrat, visited my Election Law class. I asked them what were the great unsettled questions in the field, especially governing redistricting. They were united in their…

State Attorneys General And the Battle Against Federal Agency Overreach

December 11, 2017

Federal agencies overstepping their statutory and constitutional authorities, in order to aggregate power to the Executive Branch, has become an issue of especial concern in recent years in the legal academy. We saw this when President Barack Obama declared his intent to direct agencies to achieve through executive fiat what he had failed to secure…