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Louis Michael Seidman

Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law

A.B., Chicago; J.D., Harvard

Areas of Expertise:

Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1971, Professor Seidman served as a law clerk for J. Skelly Wright of the D.C. Circuit and U.S....

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After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1971, Professor Seidman served as a law clerk for J. Skelly Wright of the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He then was a staff attorney with the D.C. Public Defender Service until joining the Law Center faculty in 1976. He teaches a variety of courses in the fields of constitutional and criminal law. He is co-author of a constitutional law casebook and the author of many articles concerning criminal justice and constitutional law.  His most recent books are  On Constitutional Disobedience (Oxford, 2012); Silence and Freedom (Stanford 2007); Equal Protection of the Laws (Foundation 2002); and Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review (Yale 2001).  In 2011, Seidman was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 

Recent Scholarship

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Louis Michael Seidman, State Action and the Constitution's Middle Band, (working paper).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]

Books

  • Louis Michael Seidman, Geoffrey R. Stone, Cass R. Sunstein, Mark V. Tushnet & Pamela S. Karlan, The First Amendment (New York: Aspen Publishers 5th ed. 2016).   
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Geoffrey R. Stone, Cass R. Sunstein, Mark V. Tushnet & Pamela S. Karlan, Constitutional Law (New York: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business 7th ed. 2013 & Supp. 2013, 2015).    [BOOK]

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Louis Michael Seidman, Substitute Arguments in Constitutional Law, 31 J.L. & Pol. 237-296 (2016).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, The Triumph of Gay Marriage and the Failure of Constitutional Law, 2015 Sup. Ct. Rev. 115-146.    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
View all scholarship

All Scholarship 1989 - Present

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Louis Michael Seidman, State Action and the Constitution's Middle Band, (working paper).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, A Thought Experiment, (working paper).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law]

Books

  • Louis Michael Seidman, Geoffrey R. Stone, Cass R. Sunstein, Mark V. Tushnet & Pamela S. Karlan, The First Amendment (New York: Aspen Publishers 5th ed. 2016).   
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Geoffrey R. Stone, Cass R. Sunstein, Mark V. Tushnet & Pamela S. Karlan, Constitutional Law (New York: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business 7th ed. 2013 & Supp. 2013, 2015).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, On Constitutional Disobedience (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2012).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Geoffrey R. Stone, Mark V. Tushnet, Cass R. Sunstein & Pamela S. Karlan, The First Amendment (New York: Aspen Publishers 4th ed. 2012).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Mark V. Tushnet, Geoffrey R. Stone, Cass R. Sunstein & Pamela S. Karlan, Constitutional Law (New York: Aspen Publishers 6th ed. 2009).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Silence and Freedom (Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press 2007).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Mark V. Tushnet, Geoffrey R. Stone & Cass R. Sunstein, Constitutional Law (New York: Aspen Publishers 5th ed. 2005).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Constitutional Law: Equal Protection of the Laws (New York: Foundation Press 2003).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Mark V. Tushnet, Geoffrey R. Stone & Cass R. Sunstein, Constitutional Law (Gaithersburg, Md.: Aspen Law & Business 4th ed. 2001).   
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press 2001).    [BOOK]

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Louis Michael Seidman, Substitute Arguments in Constitutional Law, 31 J.L. & Pol. 237-296 (2016).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, The Triumph of Gay Marriage and the Failure of Constitutional Law, 2015 Sup. Ct. Rev. 115-146.    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, J. Skelly Wright and the Limits of Liberalism, 61 Loy. L. Rev. 69-91 (2015).    [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, The Secret History of American Constitutional Skepticism: A Recovery and Preliminary Evaluation, 17 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 1-113 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Why Jeremy Waldron Really Agrees with Me, 127 Harv. L. Rev. F. 159-164 (2014).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Political and Constitutional Obligation, 93 B.U. L. Rev. 1257-1281 (2013).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Depoliticizing Federalism, 35 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 121-127 (2012).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Acontextual Judicial Review, 32 Cardozo L. Rev. 1143-1181 (2011).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Hyper-Incarceration and Strategies of Disruption: Is There a Way Out?, 9 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 109-132 (2011).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Should We Have a Liberal Constitution?, 27 Const. Comment. 541-556 (2011).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Our Unsettled Ninth Amendment: An Essay on Unenumerated Rights and the Impossibility of Textualism, 98 Cal. L. Rev. 2129-2159 (2010).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Can Constitutionalism be Leftist?, 26 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 557-577 (2008).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, The Dale Problem: Property and Speech Under the Regulatory State, 75 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1541-1600 (2008).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Gay Sex and Marriage, the Reciprocal Disadvantage Problem, and the Crisis in Liberal Constitutional Theory, 31 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 135-150 (2008).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Critical Constitutionalism Now, 75 Fordham L. Rev. 575-592 (2006).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [WWW]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Torture's Truth, 72 U. Chi. L. Rev. 881-918 (2005).    [HEIN] [W]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Left Out, 67 Law & Contemp. Probs. 23-32 (2004).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Out of Bounds, 65 Ohio St. L.J. 1329-1339 (2004).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, The Secret Life of the Political Question Doctrine, 37 J. Marshall L. Rev. 441-480 (2004).    [HEIN] [W]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Democracy and Legitimation: A Response to Professor Guinier, 34 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 77-88 (2002).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman & Mark V. Tushnet, When Judges Tell Us What They Mean, 5 Graven Images 254-258 (2002).   
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Eavesdropping on the Justices, 5 Green Bag 2d 117 (2001) (reviewing Dell Dickson, The Supreme Court in Conference (1940-1985) (2001)).    [W]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Mark Tushnet: A Personal Reminiscence , 90 Geo. L.J. 127-130 (2001).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, What's So Bad About Bush v. Gore? An Essay on Our Unsettled Election, 47 Wayne L. Rev. 953-1026 (2001).    [HEIN] [W] [Gtown Law]

Book Chapters and Collected Works

  • Louis Michael Seidman, Three Puzzles in the Work of Bill Stuntz, in The Political Heart of Criminal Procedure: Essays on Themes of William J. Stuntz 200-211 (Michael Klarman, David Skeel & Carol Steiker eds., New York: Cambridge University Press 2012).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Powell's Choice: The Law and Morality of Speech, Silence, and Resignation by High Government Officials, in Speech and Silence in American Law 48-82 (Austin Sarat ed., New York: Cambridge University Press 2010).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Entrapment and the "Free Market" for Crime, in Criminal Law Conversations 493-515 (Paul H. Robinson, Kimberly Ferzan & Stephen Garvey eds., New York: Oxford University Press 2009).    [SSRN] [Gtown Law] [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, "What are You Doing Here?" An Autobiographical Fragment, in Law Touched Our Hearts: A Generation Remembers Brown v. Board of Education 166-168 (Mildred Wigfall Robinson & Richard J. Bonnie eds., Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University Press 2008).   
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Comment: Marbury and the Authoritarian Straddle, in Arguing Marbury v. Madison 160-165 (Mark V. Tushnet ed., Stanford, Cal.: Stanford Law and Politics 2005).    [BOOK]
  • Louis Michael Seidman, Judicial Activism and Judicial Restraint, Entry, in 3 Encyclopedia of the American Constitution 1449-1450 (Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst & Dennis J. Mahoney eds., New York: MacMillan Reference USA 2d ed. 2000).    [BOOK]

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

  • American Jewish Committee et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Repondents, Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. F.C.C., No. 89-453 (Mar. 6, 1990).    [W]

Congressional Testimony

  • Examination of the Constitutional Amendment on Marriage: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on the Constitution, Civil Rights, & Prop. Rights of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 109th Cong., Oct. 20, 2005 (Statement of Louis Michael Seidman) (CIS-No.: 2006-S521-9).    [Gtown Law]
  • Roe v. Wade Anniversary Views on Abortion: Hearing Before the S. Subcomm. on the Constitution of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong., Jan. 21, 1998 (Statement of Louis Michael Seidman) (CIS-No.: 98-S521-39).   
  • Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995: Hearing on H.R. 1833 Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 104th Cong., Nov. 17, 1995 (Statement of Louis Michael Seidman) (CIS-No.: 96-S521-1).   
  • Assassination Materials Disclosure Act of 1992: Hearing on H.J. Res. 454 Before the H. Subcomm. on Econ. & Commercial Law of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 102d Cong., May 20, 1992 (Statement of Louis Michael Seidman) (CIS-No.: 92-H521-46).   
Recent scholarship

In the News

"Kennedy, Gorsuch Hold Keys to Blockbuster Supreme Court Cases," coverage in PoliZette, October 9, 2017, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Supreme Court will adopt Trump view of travel ban case, liberal legal professor says," coverage in the Washington Examiner, October 6, 2017, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"'Both sides are preparing for a possible showdown': Mueller is delving into Trump's pardon power," coverage by Business Insider, October 3, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

"Trump's pardon of Joe Arpaio shows he could undermine one of Mueller's key tools in the Russia probe," coverage by Business Insider, August 31, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

 'Out and out political warfare': Trump claims 'complete power to pardon' amid the White House's escalating war on Russia investigation," coverage by Busines Insider, July 22, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

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All News

"Kennedy, Gorsuch Hold Keys to Blockbuster Supreme Court Cases," coverage in PoliZette, October 9, 2017, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Supreme Court will adopt Trump view of travel ban case, liberal legal professor says," coverage in the Washington Examiner, October 6, 2017, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"'Both sides are preparing for a possible showdown': Mueller is delving into Trump's pardon power," coverage by Business Insider, October 3, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

"Trump's pardon of Joe Arpaio shows he could undermine one of Mueller's key tools in the Russia probe," coverage by Business Insider, August 31, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

 'Out and out political warfare': Trump claims 'complete power to pardon' amid the White House's escalating war on Russia investigation," coverage by Busines Insider, July 22, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

"'He will not let this investigation run its natural course': Trump's war on the DOJ is reaching new levels," coverage by Yahoo! Finance, July 20, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

 "Donald Trump Jr. offences could go all the way up to treason", coverage in AFP news agency, July 13, 2017, interveiw with Professor Louis Michael Seidman

"Republicans are building Trump an ‘idiot defence’ against impeachment. Here’s why it might work," coverage by The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Can.), June 14, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Can Trump Be Indicted for Obstruction of Justice?," coverage by Voice of America, June 10, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Does Comey's testimony lay out a case for obstruction of justice? Legal experts disagree," coverage by ABC News, June 8, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"What is the 25th Amendment, and could it be used against Trump?," coverage by MacLean's, May 18, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

"How does impeachment work, and could it happen to Donald Trump?," coverage by MacLean's, May 18, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

"’The president has willingly created this self-portrait’: Trump has become the ‘principal witness’ against himself," coverage in Business Insider, May 18, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

"Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are discussing impeachment amid the latest Trump-Comey bombshell," coverage by Business Insider, May 17, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Oversharing? President Trump Didn't Violate Any Laws, But...," coverage by CBN News, May 16, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Out of Balance?", coverage in U.S. News & World Report, February 10, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Individual Americans have far less power over President Trump than they did a week ago," coverage by The Washington Post, January 23, 2017, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

"Trump to be followed into White House by raft of legal cases," coverage by The Japan Times, Nov. 12, 2016, quoting Professor Louis Seidman. This story has also been covered in Yahoo! News, the Bangkok Post, and The Times of Israel.

"Despite chants of 'not my president,' it turns out Trump will be," coverage by KLEW TV (Lewiston, ID), Novmeber 10, 2016, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Beyond the exclusionary rule," coverage in The Toledo Blade, July 5, 2016, mentioning Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

U.S. Supreme Court decision on UT affirmative action case expected this month,” coverage in the Houston Chronicle, June 8, 2016, quoting Professor Louis Seidman.

"Oklahoma Law Banning Abortion Unlikely to Reach Supreme Court," coverage in Roll Call, May 19, 2016, featuring Professor Louis Seidman.

"In Response to Ruling, Some 2016 Republicans Call for Amendment," The New York Times, June 26, 2015, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.  

"Amending the US constitution: the political rarity that's suddenly in vogue," The Guardian, May 6, 2015, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Gary Yordon: It takes guts to go up against guns," coverage in The Tallahassee Democrat, November 20, 2014, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"The Second Amendment protects gun owners (Or does it?)," and "The Constitution and freedom: What is guaranteed, and what is implied," coverage in Communities Digital News, quoting Professor Louis Michael Seidman. He is also quoted in, "Does the Constitution even matter anymore?," July 2014.

"Rare Unanimity In Supreme Court Term, With Plenty Of Fireworks," coverage by NPR's Morning Edition, July 6, 2014, quoting Professors Martin Lederman, Louis Michael Seidman, and Neal Katyal.

Book TV at Georgetown University Law Center: Louis Michael Seidman, "On Constitutional Disobedience," January 19, 2014, an interview with Professor Louis Michael Seidman on C-SPAN 2.

"Visiting Lecturer Questions Constitution," The Parthenon, November, 5, 2013, features Louis Michael Seidman, Carmack Waterhouse professor of constitutional law.

"Welfare debate heats up Tocqueville Project,The Driftwood, September 18, 2013, featuring Carmack Waterhouse Professor Louis Seidman.

"Let's Give Up on the Constitution," a New York Times op-ed by Professor Louis Michael Seidman, December 30, 2012. Seidman discussed the op-ed and his forthcoming book On Constitutional Disobedience on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" (January 3, 2013), FOX News (January 4, 2013), HuffPost Live (January 4, 2013) and FOX & Friends (January 5, 2013).

"The Constitution: Who Needs It?," a profile of Professor Louis Michael Seidman and his forthcoming book On Constitutional Disobedience in the Chronicle of Higher Education's "The Chronicle Review," December 10, 2012.

"High Court Preps for Another Headline-Making Term," a segment on NPR's "Morning Edition," October 1, 2012, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Supreme Court Faces Another High-Profile Term," coverage in the Washington Post, September 29, 2012, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman and Visiting Professor Pamela Harris.

"Civil Rights Dominate Supreme Court Term," coverage on NBC News, September 27, 2012, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Supreme Court Faces Another Momentous Term," coverage in the Washington Times, September 27, 2012, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman and Professor David Cole.

"State Laws Vary Widely on Voting Rights for Felons," an article in MinnPost, August 17, 2012, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

"Visting a Detainee in the D.C. Jail Is Now Done by Video," an article in the Washington Post, July 28, 2012, featuring Professor Louis Michael Seidman.

Recent News

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Google Location Map Georgetown University Law Center 600 New Jersey Avenue NW Washington, DC 20001