Spring Semester Update

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...

My Talk at the Satanic Temple

I had the good fortune to be able to give a talk about how non-Christians are demanding their rightful place in public life (the subject of the book I’m working on for Stanford University Press) at the Salem headquarters of the Satanic Temple.  I think this probably makes the the first person ever to speak at both the Satanic Temple and Liberty University.  You can watch the lecture...

Talking About Emoluments to the Press, and Other Constitutional Stuff

In recent weeks, a lot of people seem to want to talk about the Constitution, including those in the media.  Luckily, because of my book The Odd Clauses (which my former law professor the awesome Pam Karlan is going to assign to her con law class this coming term!) I’ve been contacted a number of times for my thoughts about Trump and the Emoluments Clause.  I’ve been quoted in articles about the Clause in the New York Times, USA Today, and Politico.  Fun!  Even more fun was getting cited and quoted in Time on my ideas for TV shows based on obscure constitutional clauses and having my tweet about how the President can’t pardon a turkey if the turkey hasn’t committed an offense against the United States reprinted in the Miami Herald and other McClatchy...

More Fun With SCOTUS Humor

Update the number of justices who have publicly referred to my VERY IMPORTANT Supreme Court [laughter] counting to six, as it was reported on Twitter that Justice Alito mentioned it in his opening speech to the Federalist Society at its national convention in November.  Apparently he said that there are “some people who have nothing better to do than count Supreme Court laughs.” Thanks, Sam!  This made me nostalgic for the time not so long ago when Justice Kagan referred to me in a speech at the University of Arizona Law School as a “professor who counts.”  I summarize the history of my work in this area, complete with all the times the justices didn’t say my name in a way that would have helped me to sell books and send my kid to college, in this piece I wrote for Boston University’s Research...

Birds and Buddhists in NYC

I wrote a piece for the great website Religion Dispatches about a ceremony involving bird rehabilitators and Buddhist monks in Central Park.  You can read it here.