Contributors

Richard Primus

Professor of Law

University of Michigan Law School

Richard Primus, the Theodore J. St. Antoine Collegiate Professor of Law, teaches the law, theory, and history of the U.S. Constitution. In 2008, he won the first-ever Guggenheim Fellowship in Constitutional Studies for his work on the relationship between history and constitutional interp​retation. His writing has appeared in many leading law reviews as well as in The New York TimesThe AtlanticThe New Republic, and Politico, and his scholarship has been cited in opinions of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Professor Primus works with constitutional law on the state level as well as the federal. He has helped state governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses solve practical problems involving state-level constitutional law, both in Michigan and in other states.

Professor Primus graduated from Harvard College in 1992 with an AB, summa cum laude, in social studies. He then earned a DPhil in politics at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and the Jowett Senior Scholar at Balliol College. After studying law at Yale, Professor Primus clerked for the Hon. Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He then practiced law at the Washington, D.C., office of Jenner & Block before joining the Michigan Law faculty in 2001.

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An Open Letter to Sen. Ben Sasse

6/21/17  //  Latest Developments

I recently wrote an open letter to Senator Ben Sasse regarding the American Health Care Act. Here's the conclusion.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

Two Thoughts on the Government's Motion to Dismiss in the CREW Emoluments Case

6/10/17  //  Quick Reactions

Here’s a brief note on two things that struck me on a quick read of the government’s motion to dismiss in CREW v. Trump, filed yesterday. The first is about Mississippi v. Johnson, which the government cites as limiting the power of courts to grant injunctions against the President. The second is about the government’s more general claim that the only proper relief for an emoluments violation is political rather than judicial.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

[UPDATED] Trump's Innocence and the Rule of Law

5/12/17  //  Commentary

Even if Trump fired Comey because Trump knows himself to be innocent of Russia-related wrongdoing, that would still be unacceptable.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

The Muslim Ban: Answering Tough Questions About Motive

4/21/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The opinion by then-Justice Rehnquist in Hunter v. Underwood (1985), a case about denying the right to vote for racist reasons, offers thoughtful answers to many of the hardest questions that you might ask about motive and the Muslim Ban.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

Motive Matters in Assessing the Travel Ban

3/20/17  //  Commentary

To the extent that Trump’s statements about the travel ban shed light on why the executive orders were issued—and they surely do—those statements are material to the constitutional analysis.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School