Public Writings

I write for a general audience about a range of issues relating to American constitutional history, politics and law, including impeachments, presidential power, free speech, constitutional crisis, judicial review, originalism, and judicial appointments. I'm now a regular contributor to The Volokh Conspiracy, hosted by Reason magazine.


Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018).  Buy It!

For Extended Media Discussions of Speak Freely visit the Speak Freely Webpage

"The Dangerous Precedent of Trump's Obstruction of Congressional Oversight," The Atlantic (October 14, 2019) Read Online

"Trump is Creating the Worst Constitutional Crisis in 150 Years," Los Angeles Times (October 10, 2019) Read Online

"Must the House Vote to Authorize an Impeachment Inquiry?" Lawfare (October 9, 2019) Read Online

"Are We In a Constitutional Crisis Yet? Thirteen Legal Experts Respond," Vox (October 9, 2019) Read Online

"And Then the President Asked to be Impeached," Volokh Conspiracy (October 8, 2019) Read Online

"Impeachment Isn't Mandatory -- Even if Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses," Washngton Post (September 26, 2019) Read Online

"Is a Senate Impeachment Trial Optional?," Niskanen Center (September 25, 2019) Read Online

"Hating on Congress: An American Tradition," Gallup Blog (July 30, 2019) Read Online

"Academic Freedom, Even for Amy Wax," Academe Blog (July 28, 2019) Read Online

"Mueller Hearings Another Summer Movie Disappointment," Volokh Conspiracy (July 24, 2019) Read Online

"A New Database of Cases Reviewing the Constitutionality of Federal Laws," Balkinization (June 28, 2019) Read Online

"A Political History of Judicial Review," Balkinization (June 19, 2019) Read Online

"Alan Dershowitz is Wrong about Impeachments," Lawfare (June 3, 2019) Read Online

"How Often Has the U.S. Supreme Court Upheld a Federal Law?" Volokh Conspiracy (June 3, 2019) Read Online

"Should We Care about College Commencement Speakers?" Volokh Conspiracy (May 29, 2019) Read Online

"How Often Has the U.S. Supreme Court Struck Down a Federal Law? Part II" Volokh Conspiracy (May 28, 2019) Read Online

"How Often Has the U.S. Supreme Court Struck Down a Federal Law?" Volokh Conspiracy (May 24, 2019) Read Online

"A New History of Judicial Review," Volokh Conspiracy (May 24, 2019) Read Online

"The Call for Impeachment Intensifies," WHYY Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane (May 22, 2019) Listen Online

"Are We in a Constitutional Crisis?," National Constitution Center We the People Podcast (May 16, 2019) Listen Online

"How Do We Know if We're in a Constitutional Crisis? 11 Experts Explain," Vox (May 16, 2019) Read Online

"How Trump Will Weaken the Presidency," Lawfare (May 16, 2019) Read Online

"The Skewed Line-Up of Commencement Speakers," Volokh Conspiracy (May 16, 2019) Read Online

"Checking the Checks and Balances," WNYC The Takeaway with Tanzina Vega (May 9, 2019) Listen Online

"Wishing for a Constitutional Crisis," Volokh Conspiracy (May 9, 2019) Read Online

"Should the House Impeach if the Senate Won't Convict?" Lawfare (May 8, 2019) Read Online

"John Stuart Mill's Big Idea: Harsh Critics Make Good Thinkers," Big Think (May 8, 2019) Watch Online

"The Commencement Speaker Shuffle," Volokh Conspiracy (May 7, 2019). Read Online

"Can the Roberts Court Save Donald Trump from an Impeachment?" Volokh Conspiracy (April 24, 2019) Read Online

"Reckoning with the Mueller Report, Volume Two," Niskanen Center (April 23, 2019) Read Online

"Reckoning with the Mueller Report, Volume One," Niskanen Center (April 22, 2019) Read Online

Sean Illing, "Does the Mueller Report Exonerate Trump? I Asked 12 Experts," Vox (April 20, 2019) Read Online

"About That Campus Free Speech Executive Order," Volokh Conspiracy (March 26, 2019) Read Online

"First Impressions on the Mueller Report," Volokh Conspiracy (March 24, 2019) Read Online

"The Electoral College is Just OK," Volokh Conspiracy (March 22, 2019) Read Online

"Madison Wept," Volokh Conspiracy (March 13, 2019) Read Online

"He's Just Not Worth It," Volokh Conspiracy (March 12, 2019) Read Online

"James Madison on Abuse and Usurpation," Volokh Conspiracy (March 7, 2019) Read Online

"Securing Free Speech on Campus, Part II," Volokh Conspiracy (March 6, 2019) Read Online

"Securing Free Speech on Campus, Part I," Volokh Conspiracy (March 5, 2019) Read Online

"When is Impeachment the Right Remedy?," Lawfare (March 4, 2019) Read Online

"Reconstructing American Politics," Volokh Conspiracy (March 2, 2019) Read Online

"Vandals at the Gates," Volokh Conspiracy (February 28, 2019) Read Online

Sean Illing, "Trump Declared a National Emergency at the Border. I asked 11 experts if it's legal," Vox (February 15, 2019) Read Online

"Protecting Extramural Speech," Academe Blog (February 15, 2019) Read Online

"Academic Freedom and the Scope of Protections for Extramural Speech," Academe (January-February 2019) Read Online

"Here's the Simple Reason Why It's So Hard to Abolish Lame-Duck Legislative Sessions," MarketWatch (December 11, 2018) Read Online

"Power Grab or Business as Usual?" National Review Online (December 10, 2018) Read Online

"Free Speech is a Core Tenet of the Academy. College Trustees Really Ought to Know That," Chronicle of Higher Education (December 5, 2018) Read Online

"Professor Spreads Free Speech Message on Constitution Day," Fox & Friends (September 17, 2018) Watch Online

"Everyone Gets 'Constitutional Crisis' Wrong," CNN Politics (September 7, 2018) Watch Online

"The Dream of a Nonpartisan Supreme Court," Princeton University Press Blog (September 6, 2018) Read Online

“Should Congress Treat Impeachable Offenses Cumulatively?,” Lawfare (August 29, 2018) Read Online

"Anthony Kennedy's Supreme Court Legacy: Support for Both Flag-Burners and Citizens United," MarketWatch (June 28, 2018) Read Online

"Campus Protests Should Stop at the Door of the Classroom," Aeon (June 20, 2018) Read Online

"The Problem with Zombie Constitutional Amendments," Harvard Law Review Blog (June 6, 2018) Read Online

"Can Trump Actually Pardon Himself? Experts Weigh In," The Guardian (June 4, 2018) Read Online

"Free Speech and Ideological Diversity on American College Campuses," Open Inquiry Project (May 2018) Read Online

"A Survey of Constitutional Debates in the Trump Era," National Constitution Center Town Hall (May 7, 2018) Watch Online

"Don't Subpoena Testimony from the President," Lawfare (May 4, 2018) Read Online

"Checking the President," No Jargon Podcast Episode 126 (April 25, 2018) Podcast

"Tolerating Campus Dissent, Left and Right," Princeton University Press Blog (April 25, 2018) Read Online

"R.I.P. Congressional War Power," Lawfare (April 20, 2018) Read Online

"The Bounded Rationality of American Courts," New York University Law Review Online (2018) Read Online

"The Kids are Alright," Princeton University Press Blog (March 20, 2018) Read Online

Sean Illing, "Can Mueller Force Trump to Testify? I Asked 9 Legal Experts," Vox (March 15, 2018) Read Online

"Offensive Speech in the Classroom," Academe Blog (March 11, 2018) Read Online

"Departmentalism, Judicial Supremacy, and DACA," Lawfare (February 26, 2018) Read Online

"President Trump, #MeToo, and Congressional Power," Harvard Law Review Blog (February 20, 2018) Read Online

"History of Impeachment from Andrew Johnson to Today," National Constitution Center's We the People (February 1, 2018) Podcast

"Partisanship, Norms, and Federal Judicial Appointments," Balkinization (November 29, 2017) Read Online

"Congress and the Administrative State," Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention (November 17, 2017) View Online

"Does the First Amendment Protect Hate Speech on Campus and Online?" National Constitution Center's America's Town Hall (November 8, 2017) View Online

"To Impeach or Not To Impeach," Talk Like a Girl Episode 2 (October 2017) Podcast

"Hate Speech and the First Amendment," National Constitution Center's We the People (September 28, 2017) Podcast

"Trump's Rhetoric is Offensive, but is it an Impeachable Offense?" Vox: Mischiefs of Faction (August 4, 2017) Read Online

"The Power to Impeach Executive Officers," Lawfare (August 4, 2017) Read Online

"Possibly Impeachable Offenses: The Need for Congressional Investigation" Niskanen Center (August 2, 2017) Read Online

"What is the Downside of Not Impeaching?" Lawfare (July 25, 2017) Read Online

"The Coming Constiutional Crisis?" Lawfare (July 21, 2017) Read Online

Sean Illing, "President Trump is Considering Pardoning Himself. I Askef 15 Experts if that's Legal," Vox (July 21, 2017) Read Online

Sean Illing, "Trump's Lawyer: Comey Violated Executive Privilege. 10 Legal Experts: No, He Didn't," Vox (June 9, 2017) Read Online

"Constitutional Crisis? Take a Deep Breath," Decode DC episode 196 (June 1, 2017) Podcast

"He's Not Going to Be Impeached," We the People episode 90 (May 25, 2017) Podcast

"So What Exactly Counts as an Impeachable Offense?," Washington Post: Monkey Cage (May 24, 2017) Read Online

"Impeachment" NPR's All Sides with Amy Fisher (May 23, 2017) Audio Interview

"How Likely is a Trump impeachment?" CGTN (May 23, 2017) Video Interview

"What is the Impeachment Power For?," Law and Liberty (May 22, 2017) Read Online

"How To Get Out of Impeachment Territory," Lawfare (May 19, 2017) Read Online

"Will the 25th Amendment Save Us? Lessons from the Nation's First Impeachment Trial," Vox: Mischiefs of Faction (May 18, 2017) Read Online

"How Does Impeachment Work?" The Atlantic (May 17, 2017) Read Online

"A Constitutional Crisis May Not Be What You Think It Is" Newsy (May 17, 2017) Video Interview

"An Impeachment Should Not Be a Partisan Affair," Lawfare (May 16, 2017) Read Online

Dylan Matthews, "I Asked 7 Experts If the Comey Firing Is a Constitutional Crisis, Here's What They Said," Vox (May 11, 2017) Read Online

"Is the Supreme Court a Court?" Law and Liberty (February 23, 2017) Read Online

"Constitutional Norms Matter," Law and Liberty (February 16, 2017) Read Online

"Departmentalism, Judicial Supremacy, and Trump," Balkinization (February 15, 2017) Read Online

Dylan Matthews, "I Asked 8 Experts If We're In a Constitutional Crisis, Here's What They Said" Vox (February 13, 2017) Read Online

"Interpretation of Impeachment Clause," with Neil Kinkopf, National Constitution Center Interactive Constitution (2016) Read Online

"Balancing Independence and Accountability in Impeachable Offenses," National Constitution Center Interactive Constitution (2016) Read Online

"Making the Bricks of the Modern Presidency from Constitutional Straw" Law and Liberty (January 4, 2016) Read Online

Judicial Review and Constitutional Politics (Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, 2015) Purchase Here

"Our Regional Constitution" Wall Street Journal (June 3, 2015) Read Online

"Paradise Lost" Law and Liberty (June 2, 2015) Read Online

"Are Signing Statements a Bad Thing?" Law and Liberty (April 28, 2014) Read Online

"Remembering Why Hayek Mattered" Law and Liberty (April 26, 2014) Read Online

"What's Wrong with Judicial Activism Anyway?" Law and Liberty (April 21, 2014) Read Online

"One of the 'Most Activist Judges We Have Right Now'" Law and Liberty (April 10, 2014) Read Online

"Is the Roberts Court the Least Activist Court in History" Law and Liberty (April 8, 2014) Read Online

"Constitutional Politics in the States" Law and Liberty (April 6, 2014) Read Online

"Sowing the Seeds of an Originalist Future" Law and Liberty (April 6, 2014) Read Online

"How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Substantive Due Process -- Sort Of" Law and Liberty (April 4, 2014) Read Online

"What Did John Marshall Accomplish in Marbury v. Madison" Law and Liberty (April 2, 2014) Read Online

"Is the Constitution a Cage?" David Aldrich Nelson Lecture at Texas A&M University (2013) View Online

"The Troubling Case of Lochner" Law and Liberty (March 1, 2012) Read Online

"The Conquering Bureaucracy" Reason (December 2010) Read Online

"Originalism within the Living Constitution" American Constitution Society Issue Brief (July 2007) Read Online

"How to Read the Constitution: Self-Government and the Jurisprudence of Originalism" Heritage Foundation First Principles Series (May 1, 2006) Read Online

"Bogus Balance Banter" National Review Online (August 10, 2005) Read Online

"The Confirmation Process We Deserve" Policy Review (June 1, 2001) Read Online

"'High Crimes' After Clinton" Policy Review (February 1, 2000) Read Online

"Not-So-Grand Inquests" Reason (January 2000) Read Online

"The Politics of the Supreme Court" Policy Review (August 1, 2000) Read Online

"Serving the President: When Must the President Obey a Subpoena?" Reason (November 1998) Read Online

"When is a Crime a 'High Crime'?" Chicago Tribune (September 13, 1998) Read Online