Contributors

Michael C. Dorf

Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law

Cornell Law School

Michael C. Dorf has written over eighty scholarly articles and essays on constitutional law and related subjects. He is the co-author (with Laurence Tribe) of On Reading the Constitution (Harvard University Press, 1991), the co-author (with Trevor Morrison) of The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press, 2010), the editor of Constitutional Law Stories (Foundation Press 2004, second edition 2009), the author of No Litmus Test: Law Versus Politics in the 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), and a co-editor of the 12th edition of the Choper et al Constitutional Law casebook (West, 2015), the annual Supplement thereto, and the annual Compact Version of the casebook. His latest book, co-authored with Sherry F. Colb, is Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights (Columbia University Press, 2016). Professor Dorf is a frequent contributor to Newsweek and an occasional contributor to other magazines and newspapers. He also writes a bi-weekly column for Justia's web magazine Verdict and posts several times per week on his blog, Dorf on Law

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Professor Dorf spent the year between college and law school as a Rotary Scholar at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. During that time he co-authored three articles for refereed physics journals. After law school, Professor Dorf served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States. 

His work as a paid lawyer has included a constitutional challenge to NAFTA in the D.C. Circuit and he maintains an active pro bono practice that includes the writing of amicus briefs in Supreme Court cases. Before joining the Cornell faculty in 2008, Professor Dorf taught at Rutgers-Camden Law School for three years and at Columbia Law School for thirteen years. At Columbia, he was Vice Dean from 1998-2002 and when he left, was the Isidor & Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law.

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Supreme Court Border-Shooting Non-Decision Confirms My Fears Regarding Bivens Actions

6/27/17  //  Commentary

Yesterday's SCOTUS ruling in Hernandez v. Mesa decided one question and punted on two. After explaining what the case decided and what it did not, I'll explain why one of the punts confirms my fear that federal civil rights actions against federal officers are practically a dead letter.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

The Slants, Government Speech, and Elane Photography

6/22/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling in Matal v. Tam, the government speech doctrine will not swallow the First Amendment.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

SCOTUS Severely Narrows Civil Rights Suits Against Federal Officers

6/20/17  //  Commentary

Yesterday's SCOTUS ruling in Ziglar v. Abbasi makes it all but impossible for civil rights plaintiffs to sue federal officials for money damages.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Trump Emoluments Argument Mirrors His “Just a Hope” Comey Defense

6/14/17  //  Commentary

The last week saw important developments with respect to Donald Trump's ongoing confrontation with the Constitution's Foreign Emoluments Clause.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Trump Is Not Playing Ten-Dimensional Chess; He's Not Even Playing Checkers; He's Barely Playing Peekaboo

6/6/17  //  Commentary

Let's explore the hypothesis that Trump is deliberately sabotaging the already weak case for sustaining the travel ban. This is extremely unlikely. As they say in medical school, when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. The most obvious explanation--Trump is an ignorant racist with no impulse control--should dominate more intricate theories.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

On Climate, Trump is a Mainstream Republican

6/2/17  //  Commentary

Debate over whether the world is better if we stay in or get out and the game-show-style interest that Trump (in typical Trumpian fashion) has generated regarding his BIG DECISION should not obscure two basic facts: (1) The Trump environmental policy is disastrous; and (2) when it comes to the environment and global warming especially, Trump is a mainstream Republican.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School