//  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.


Versus Trump: How Do We Protect Our Democracy?

2/14/19  //  Uncategorized

On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Charlie sits down for a fun, casual conversation with Anne Tindall and Cameron Kistler of Protect Democracy about, well, protecting our democracy. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

The National Emergencies Act Is Not a Blank Check

2/1/19  //  Uncategorized

The National Emergencies Act doesn't give the President unlimited power to declare a national emergency even when no emergency exists

Brianne J. Gorod

Constitutional Accountability Center

Versus Trump: Ask Charlie About The Census

1/25/19  //  In-Depth Analysis

On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason asks Charlie to take us through the mammothly long, massively important opinion from the Southern District of New York invalidating the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens