//  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: On Flynn, Bolton, and Mary Trump

7/5/20  //  Commentary

On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss the D.C. Circuit's extraordinary intervention in the Michael Flynn case, and then move on to two lawsuits seeking to block publication of books: John Bolton's and Mary Trump's. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Versus Trump: Easha's Back, To Talk Qualified Immunity and Police Reform

6/21/20  //  Commentary

On this week’s Versus Trump, Easha Anand makes her triumphant return to talk qualified immunity and police reform. The trio talk about the proposal to reform qualified immunity and debate whether that will do much. They then break down other new legal innovations in the various proposals and ask: is it enough to create new grounds for people to sue? Or are other reforms more important? Listen now!

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

The SDNY Debacle And The Supreme Court

6/20/20  //  Quick Reactions

The Trump administration's apparent desire to force out the U.S. Attorney for SDNY could have implications for several major Supreme Court cases this term.

Leah Litman

Michigan Law School