Steve Vladeck Profile picture
@ksvesq’s husband; father of daughters; C.A. Wright Chair in Federal Courts @UTexasLaw; #SCOTUS nerd @CNN; NYT bestseller:; #LGM
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Jul 18, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
“Birthright citizenship was a mistake whose time has gone.”…

Except that, contrary to what this op-ed argues, #SCOTUS really did settle this issue in 1898:… Here’s the key passage from United States v. Wong Kim Ark:
Jul 16, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read
Last night's 5th Cir. ruling in Whole Women's Health (…) is another example of the phenomenon I tweeted about last week—conservative judges subordinating settled law to their own policy preferences, however compelling they may be.

A quick #thread on why: 1. The underlying dispute in the case is over a third-party subpoena issued by the plaintiffs (abortion providers) to the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops (TCCB) as part of their challenge to #SB8. TCCB sought to quash the subpoena, and ultimately lost in the district court.
Jul 11, 2018 12 tweets 4 min read
The claim that conservative judges, unlike progressives, “follow the law” and simply “call balls and strikes” is a preposterous, tired canard.

Among the many counterexamples, this #thread focuses on one (involving Judge Kavanaugh)—tort suits against private military contractors: 1. As the military has come to rely on private military contractors (PMCs) for increasing logistical and other support overseas, the contractors have, not surprisingly, been subject to increasing litigation for alleged (and, in many cases, proven) misconduct by their employees...
Jun 29, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Until 1866, the size of #SCOTUS was tied directly to the number of circuit courts of appeals—from 6 seats in 1789 to 10 seats in 1863.

Each Justice therefore not only supervised a circuit, but truly _represented_ it, guaranteeing at least one meaningful source of diversity... When Congress took away seats in 1866 to punish President Johnson, it thereby set the precedent for treating the Court’s size as a political consideration—a big part of why it’s been stuck at 9 since Congress restored two of the three deleted seats in 1869.
May 24, 2018 14 tweets 5 min read
1. Following up on last week's @WSJ op-ed, Prof. Steve Calabresi has now posted to @SSRN a nine-page "Opinion on the Constitutionality of Robert Mueller's Appointment":…

His bottom line: It's unconstitutional.

This #thread explains why he's just wrong: 2. The key to understanding Calabresi's argument is to understand that it is actually two _different_ arguments that need to be addressed separately:

(i) that Mueller's _appointment_ violates the Appointments Clause; and
ii) that Mueller's _actions_ violate the Clause.
Apr 14, 2018 14 tweets 5 min read
1. At the risk of trying to bring some nuance to Twitter, what follows is a #thread on U.S. law vis-a-vis the war powers, and why the legality of the #SyriaStrikes as a matter of U.S. law (to say nothing of int'l law) is both far from certain and revealing of far deeper problems: 2. Let's start from first principles. For uses of military force to be lawful as a matter of U.S. domestic law, the authority to use such force must stem either from an Act of Congress or from the President's powers under Article II of the Constitution.
Oct 13, 2017 11 tweets 2 min read
1. Later today, #SCOTUS will consider whether to review another major #GTMO mil. comm'n appeal (Al-Nashiri). Quick thread on why it matters: 2. Al-Nashiri is charged with, among other things, responsibility for 10/2000 bombing of USS Cole. But Cole bombing pre-dated 9/11...