//  5/9/17  //  Quick Reactions

According to breaking news reports, President Trump has fired FBI director James Comey. The first thing I thought was: can he do that? And the answer is yes, he can.

This 2011 opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) provides the relevant law regarding the status of the FBI Director in the Administration. The opinion says that the Office's longstanding position has been that "the FBI Director is removable at the will of the President." It continues:

No statute purports to restrict the President’s power to remove the Director. Specification of a [ten-year] term of office does not create such a restriction. [Cite.] Nor is there any ground for inferring a restriction. Indeed, tenure protection for an officer with the FBI Director’s broad investigative, administrative, and policymaking responsibilities would raise a serious constitutional question whether Congress had “impede[d] the President’s ability to perform his constitutional duty” to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654, 691 (1988).

Firing Comey is likely a bad idea, but we probably don't have a constitutional crisis on our hands. Yet.


Can Congress Investigate Whether the President Has Conflicts of Interest, is Compromised by Russia, or Has Violated the Law?

7/29/19  //  In-Depth Analysis

The President's lawyers are urging courts to hold that Congress’s oversight and regulatory authorities simply don't extend to investigating the wrongdoing, foreign influence over, and possible conflicts of interest of, the President of the United States. That's wrong.

Marty Lederman

Georgetown Law

Ask Mueller about Indicting a President: The Legal Error at the Heart of his Cryptic Report

7/23/19  //  Commentary

Let's not have unrealistic expectations of Mueller dropping bombshells. But if Congress is going to hold hearings, it should ask these questions.

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

Versus Trump: The Past And Future Of Gerrymandering

7/18/19  //  Commentary

This week on Versus Trump, Jason and Easha are joined by guest host Melissa Murray of NYU Law and the new Strict Scrutiny podcast. They discuss the recent Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering (Rucho v. Common Cause), what's next in the fight, and where you can find Melissa's wonderful new podcast. Listen now!

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Easha Anand

San Francisco