Research & Publications
War Powers: The Politics of Constitutional Authority (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, May 2013). Winner of 2014 Richard E. Neustadt Prize from the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the APSA.
This book studies how the branches can generate authoritative interpretations about the Constitution's war powers order in the context of their own times. It starts with a central question of war powers scholarship today: whether the president, or Congress, has constitutional authority to take the country to war. I suggest that, rather than offering a single legal answer to that question, the Constitution's structure and values indicate a vision of a well-functioning constitutional politics, one that enables the branches themselves to generate good answers to this question for the circumstances of their own times. Constitutionally faithful behavior does not entail enacting the same constitutional settlement for all conditions, but instead requires the branches to bring their distinctive governing capacities to bear on their interpretive work in context.
"War Powers" (joint with Stephen Griffin's The Longest War) Boston University Law Review Symposium. October 2014.
“Constitutional War Powers” (Joint with Stephen Griffin’s book The Longest War). Tulane Law School. October 2013.
My present work is happening on two tracks. One project explores constitutional authority. I want to develop a robust way of talking about the distinctively political authority that rests behind many interpretive projects. Drawing on a study of Frederick Douglass' constitutional politics ("Frederick Douglass, Citizen Interpreter" (manuscript) SSRN), I note that a great deal of constitutional transformation that is accepted as authoritative by the public and by scholars and elites in fact was not legally-generated nor can it be understood uniquely in legal terms. What does the political authority to interpret a text consist of? How is politically-responsible interpretation different from interpretation that is legally or linguistically responsible?
I am also working on a project about constitutional dilemmas associated with global governance. Building on "Forced to be Free: Coercive Acquisition and Constitutional Imperialism" (manuscript) SSRN, I am curious about how the background characteristics of the global order -- for example, the extent to which it is imperialist or republican -- might transform domestic constitutional debates about the war power, treaty powers, issues of non-delegation and separation of powers.
“A New Framing? Constitutional Representation at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center” Perspectives on Politics vol. 6 no. 3 (September 2008)
“Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11” (by Jack Goldsmith) Tulsa Law Review (2013)
(For syllabi for other years or topics, please email me directly)