It has been a busy spring semester. For one thing, in addition to teaching a first-year administrative law course with 97 students, I also taught Cannabis Law and Policy (I wanted to call it Marijuana Law but the Dean insisted on the other title) for the first time. It’s a fascinating area of law that I hope to get more into in the coming years. BU Today did a little feature on the course that you can read here.
There was a lot of Trump activity in the past few months also. Here’s a piece I wrote for Beacon Broadside about how Trump is probably in violation of the Emoluments Clause, which I like to call the Presents Clause. I spoke at the Center for Public Integrity at Columbia in February about emoluments (video here), at the awesome Boston Athenaeum about executive orders (event description here), and at Boston University’s Howard Thurman Center about Trump’s Muslim ban (with a great panel, including Steve Prothero and Kecia Ali of the BU Department of Religion). I did an interview for NPR’s Planet Money on emoluments, although I didn’t make the final podcast except for a nice shout out to Odd Clauses at the end, and did a live TV interview for CNBC’s Closing Bell on emoluments, which was fun, because I said the word “tentacles.”
I’m continuing to work, albeit a little too slowly, on my book about non-Christians participating in public life. The manuscript is due to Stanford U. Press in January 2018, so that’s mostly what I’ll be working on this summer when I’m not on family trips to Sweden, Branson, and Nashville. I did a talk for the American Constitution Society at Stanford in February on the book, when I was there to talk to Pam Karlan’s con law class about Odd Clauses. It was the first time I’ve been back to my alma mater since I graduated in 1997, and it was terrific to see the place, as well as a number of great teachers and mentors to whom I owe quite a lot.
And then, of course, there was the Supreme Court and new Justice Gorsuch. I wrote this piece for McSweeney’s about what the Gorsuch hearing would have looked like if it was really kabuki theater and this piece for Beacon Broadside about why the Senate should have asked him about his views on the Odd Clauses (it didn’t happen). In case you’re wondering, the final SCOTUS [laughter] standings for the 2016-2017 term were: SB 37, CJ 22, EK 20, SS 10, SA 10, AK 8, NG 3, RBG 1, CT 0. Kagan came close at the end to taking over second place from the Chief, but ultimately couldn’t do it. There’s always next year.