Saikrishna Prakash

  • James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law
  • Paul G. Mahoney Research Professor of Law

Saikrishna Prakash’s scholarship focuses on separation of powers, particularly executive powers. He teaches Constitutional Law, Foreign Relations Law and Presidential Powers at the Law School.

Prakash’s forthcoming book, “The Living Presidency: An Originalist Argument Against Its Ever-Expanding Powers,” will be published by Harvard University Press in 2020. He is also the author of “Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive” (Yale University Press, 2015).  The former book will focus on the modern presidency while the latter considers the presidency of the Founders.

Prakash has authored over 75 law review articles. Among them are “Of Synchronicity and Supreme Law” in the Harvard Law Review, “The Indefensible Duty to Defend” in the Columbia Law Review, and “50 States, 50 Attorneys General and 50 Approaches to the Duty to Defend” and “The Executive Power Over Foreign Affairs” in the Yale Law Journal.

Prakash has published numerous op-eds in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. He has testified before Congress on matters of executive power and the separation of powers. He is currently a Miller Center Senior Fellow. In 2015, he received the Roger Traynor award for faculty scholarship. In the same year, he received an honorable mention from the American Society of Legal Writers for his book “Imperial from the Beginning.” He has given named lectures at William & Mary Law School, Princeton University and Toledo Law School, and keynote addresses at several conferences.

Prakash majored in economics and political science at Stanford University. At Yale Law School, he served as senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the John M. Olin Fellowship in Law, Economics and Public Policy. He subsequently clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court. After practicing in New York for two years, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and as an associate professor at Boston University School of Law. He then spent several years at the University of San Diego School of Law as the Herzog Research Professor of Law. Prakash has been a visiting professor at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. He also has served as a James Madison Fellow at Princeton University and Visiting Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution of War & Peace at Stanford University.

Scholarship Profile: Originalism and the Separation of Powers (Virginia Journal 2013)

Education

  • J.D.
    Yale Law School
    1993
  • B.A.
    Stanford University
    1990

Books:

Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive (Yale University Press 2015).

Articles:

“Congress as Elephant,” 104 Va. L. Rev. 797 (2018).

"Of Synchronicity and Supreme Law," (2018).
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"Military Force and Violence, but Neither War nor Hostilities," 64 Drake L. Rev. 995 (2016).
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"Congress and the Reconstruction of Foreign Affairs Federalism: (with Ryan Baasch) ,115 Mich. L. Rev. 47 (2016).
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“A Fool for the Original Constitution,” 130 Harv. L. Rev. F. 24 (2016).
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"People ≠ Legislature" (with John Yoo), Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y. (2016).
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"50 States, 50 Attorneys General, and 50 Approaches to the Duty to Defend" (with Neal Devins), 124 Yale L. J. 2100 (2015). 
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"The Sweeping Domestic War Powers of Congress," 113 Mich. L. Rev. 1337 (2015). 
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Zivotofsky and the Separation of Powers,” 2015 Sup. Ct. Rev. 1.

"The Boundless Treaty Power Within a Bounded Constitution," 90 Notre Dame L. Rev.1499 (symposium on Bond v. United States) (2015).
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“Resolved, The Unitary Executive is a Myth: Con,” in Richard J. Ellis & Michael Nelson, eds., Debating the Presidency: Conflicting Perspectives on the American Executive 26 (CQ Press, 2014).

“The Appointment and Removal of William J. Marbury and When an Office Vests,” 89Notre Dame L. Rev. 199 (2013).
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“Guru Dakshina,” 2013 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1787.
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“The Imbecilic Executive,” 99 Va. L. Rev. 1361 (2013).
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“Reverse Advisory Opinions” (with Neal Devins), 80 U. Chi. L. Rev. 859 (2013).
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“The Statutory Nonenforcement Power,” 91 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 115 (2013).
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“The Goldilocks Executive” (with Michael D. Ramsey), 90 Tex. L. Rev. 973 (2012) (reviewing Eric A. Posner & Adrian Vermeule, The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic (2010)).
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“The Indefensible Duty to Defend” (with Neal Devins), 112 Colum. L. Rev. 507 (2012).
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“Missing Links in the President’s Evolution on Same-Sex Marriage,” 81 Fordham L. Rev.553 (2012).
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“The Causes of Progressive Stagnation,” 72 Ohio St. L.J. 1277 (2011).
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“The Great Suspender’s Unconstitutional Suspension of the Great Writ,” 3 Alb. Gov’t L. Rev. 575 (2010).
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“Fragmented Features of the Constitution’s Unitary Executive,” 45 Willamette L. Rev. 701 (2009).
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“The Story of Myers and its Wayward Successors: Going Postal on the Removal Power,” in Christopher H. Schroeder & Curtis A. Bradley, eds. Presidential Power Stories 165 (Foundation Press, 2009).

“Why the Incompatibility Clause Applies to the Office of the President,” 4 Duke J. Const. L. & Pub. Pol’y Sidebar 107 (2009).
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“Exhuming the Seemingly Moribund Declaration of War,” 77 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 89 (2008).
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“Imperial and Imperiled: The Curious State of the Executive,” 50 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1021 (2008).
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“The Misunderstood Relationship between Originalism and Popular Sovereignty,” 31 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 485 (2008).
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“The Executive’s Duty to Disregard Unconstitutional Laws,” 95 Geo. L.J. 1613 (2008).
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“The Separation and Overlap of War and Military Powers,” 87 Tex. L. Rev. 299 (2008).
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“A Taxonomy of Presidential Powers,” 88 B.U. L. Rev. 327 (2008).
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“Tempest in an Empty Teapot: Why the Constitution Does Not Regulate Gerrymandering” (with Larry Alexander), 50 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1 (2008).

“Delegation Really Running Riot” (with Larry Alexander), 93 Va. L. Rev. 1035 (2007).
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“More Democracy, Less Constitution,” 55 Drake L. Rev. 899 (2007).
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“A Two-Front War,” 93 Cornell L. Rev. 197 (2007).
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“Unleashing the Dogs of War: What the Constitution Means by ‘Declare War’,” 93 Cornell L. Rev. 45 (2007).
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“Why the President Must Veto Unconstitutional Bills,” 16 Wm. & Mary Bill Rights J. 81 (2007).
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“The Constitutional Status of Customary International Law,” 30 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 65 (2006).
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“The Domestic War,” 115 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 92 (2006).

“How the Constitution Makes Subtraction Easy,” 92 Va. L. Rev. 1871 (2006).
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“How to Remove a Federal Judge” (with Steven D. Smith), 116 Yale L.J. 72 (2006).
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“Reply: (Mis)Understanding ‘Good Behavior’ Tenure” (with Steven D. Smith), 116 Yale L.J.139 (2006).
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“New Light on the Decision of 1789,” 91 Cornell L. Rev. 1021 (2006).
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“Radicals in Tweed Jackets: Why Extreme Left-Wing Law Professors are Wrong for America,” 106 Colum. L. Rev. 2207 (2006) (reviewing Cass R. Sunstein, Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts Are Wrong for America (2005)).
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“Regulating the Commander in Chief: Some Theories,” 81 Ind. L.J. 1319 (2006).

“Removal and Tenure in Office,” 92 Va. L. Rev. 1779 (2006).
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“Removing Federal Judges Without Impeachment” (with Steven D. Smith), 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 95 (2006).

“Against Interpretive Supremacy” (with John Yoo), 103 Mich. L. Rev. 1539 (2005) (reviewing Larry D. Kramer, The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review (2004)).
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“The Chief Prosecutor,” 73 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 521 (2005).
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“Executive Vesting Clause” and “Take Care Clause,” in David F. Forte & Matthew Spalding, eds., The Heritage Guide to the Constitution 179, 222 (Heritage Foundation, 2005).

“Foreign Affairs and the Jeffersonian Executive: A Defense” (with Michael D. Ramsey), 89Minn. L. Rev. 1591 (2005).
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“Regulating Presidential Powers,” 91 Cornell L. Rev. 215 (2005) (reviewing Harold Krent,Presidential Powers (2005)).
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“Against Tribal Fungibility,” 89 Cornell L. Rev. 1069 (2004).
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“The Constitution as Suicide Pact,” 79 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1299 (2004).
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“‘Is that English You’re Speaking?’: Why Intention-Free Interpretation is an Impossibility” (with Larry Alexander), 41 San Diego L. Rev. 967 (2004).
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“Mother May I?: Imposing Mandatory, Prospective Rules of Statutory Interpretation” (with Larry Alexander), 20 Const. Comment. 97 (2004).
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“Branches Behaving Badly: The Predictable and Often Desirable Consequences of the Separation of Powers,” 12 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 543 (2003).
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“The Essential Meaning of Executive Power,” 2003 U. Ill. L. Rev. 701.
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“The Origins of Judicial Review” (with John C. Yoo), 70 U. Chi. L. Rev. 887 (2003).
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“Our Three Commerce Clauses and the Presumption of Intrasentence Uniformity,” 55 Ark. L. Rev. 1149 (2003).
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“Overcoming the Constitution,” 91 Geo. L. J. 407 (2003) (reviewing Richard H. Fallon, Jr.,Implementing the Constitution (2001)).
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“Questions for the Critics of Judicial Review’ (with John C. Yoo), 72 Geo. Wash. L. Rev.354 (2003).
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“Reports of the Nondelegation Doctrine’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated” (with Larry Alexander), 70 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1297 (2003).
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“Are the Judicial Safeguards of Federalism the Ultimate Form of Conservative Judicial Activism?,” 55 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1363 (2002).
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“The Executive Power over Foreign Affairs” (with Michael D. Ramsey), 111 Yale L.J. 231 (2001).
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“The Puzzling Persistence of Process-Based Federalism Theories” (with John C. Yoo), 79Tex. L. Rev. 1459 (2001).
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“America’s Aristocracy,” 109 Yale L.J. 541 (1999) (reviewing Mark Tushnet, Taking the Constitution Away from the Courts (1999)).
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“A Critical Comment on the Constitutionality of Executive Privilege,” 83 Minn. L. Rev. 1143 (1999).
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“Our Dysfunctional Insider Trading Regime,” 99 Colum. L. Rev. 1491 (1999).
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“A Comment on Congressional Enforcement,” 32 Ind. L. Rev. 193 (1998).
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“Deviant Executive Lawmaking,” 67 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1 (1998).
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“Unoriginalism’s Law Without Meaning,” 15 Const. Comment. 329 (1998) (reviewing Jack Rakove, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (1998)).
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“General United States Tax Considerations Pertaining to the Creation, Acquisition and Disposition of Trademarks” (with Peter F. Riley), in Advanced Seminar on Trademark Law, 1996, at 403 (Practising Law Institute, 1996).

“The President’s Power to Execute the Laws” (with Steven G. Calabresi), 104 Yale L.J.541 (1994).
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“Field Office Federalism,” 79 Va. L. Rev. 1957 (1993).
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Note, “Hail to the Chief Administrator: The Framers and the President’s Administrative Powers,” 102 Yale L.J. 991 (1993).
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AT UVA LAW

Frederick Schauer and Saikrishna Prakash Discuss the Impeachment Process

Faculty in the News