//  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.


Legitimacy and the Supreme Court

6/19/19  //  Commentary

It is illegitimate to consider legitimacy. So say many conservatives who seem terrified that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. might care about public perception of the U.S. Supreme Court. But they are wrong.

Stephen Vladeck

University of Texas

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Versus Trump: Bet You Can't Untie This Knot

6/13/19  //  Uncategorized

This week on Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha discuss a decision undoing the Trump Administration's new rules that would ban much online gambling. The opinion also leads them into a discussion of the powers of district judges, the Office of Legal Counsel, the Attorney General, and more. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

My Speech at Harvard Law School’s 2019 Class Day

6/12/19  //  Latest Developments

By Roberta Kaplan: Becoming a great lawyer requires that you be courageous, press boundaries wherever you are, and insist that things can always change for the better, especially now.

Take Care