IAMA Constitutional Lawyer - here all day to answer questions about Prop 8 and DOMA (and anything else about the Constitution or Supreme Court!)
I've been fortunate enough to secure a reasonably free and flexible day today and wanted to come back in and do a Q&A I promised to some folks on my past AMAs. I'm in and out of the office today so the answers may come a little slower than normal but I will do my best to answer all the questions. I'm happy to focus on questions surrounding same sex marriage but also happy to answer any other Qs that come up. As with my other AMAs, I'll do my best to post updates with my availability and any developments.
I'm a lawyer living and working in DC. My pet love my whole life has been the Constitution and constitutional law. I do not work as a constitutional lawyer for my day job, but I do write academically and colloquially about areas of constitutional law. I've worked in a public interest firm doing constitutional litigation in the past, so I can do some Q&A about how that process works but I no longer actively litigate.
My areas of specialization are the First Amendment and legislative procedure. Within the First Amendment I know mostly speech/press/election law issues and legislative procedure is all about our federal legislative system (so everything from item-line veto to the filibuster) are what I love to talk and write about.
I have a general knowledge of most other constitutional provisions, including the issues surrounding same sex marriage, so ask away - I'll be as accurate as possible (and will point you to more knowledgeable folks if I can't answer your questions).
One caveat that I give in all my AMAs - I'm not great on national security law. I know the basics on issues of military tribunals, jurisdictional issues, war powers, and executive privilege but questions of indefinite detention, torture, GITMO, and drone strikes are pretty foreign to me. I highly recommend the Lawfare Blog for all national security law related interests. The writers there are fantastic and unbelievably knowledgeable.
One more caveat - I'm happy to dig in to the 2nd Amendment but will warn in advance that I'm not fluent in it. I can discuss the decisions that set the rules but most folks want me to make arguments and, while I can throw together law school quality arguments, I'd hardly call myself an authority, so take any answers to 2A questions with a grain of salt. Happy to talk about the constitutionality of gun control legislation as I see it, but again, I'm not an authority on this one.
Obamacare Decision Day Q&A: http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/vqncg/iama_constitutional_lawyer_verified_here_to/
DISCLAIMERS, IMPORTANT NOTES, AND LEGALESE
Nothing contained herein is or should be construed as legal advice. This is purely informational and made for educational purposes. I'm here because I believe educating people about our system is the best way to engage folks in protecting and improving the system. I'm not here to be your lawyer, nor could I legally give you advice even if I wanted to.
Also, I do my absolute best to keep my politics out of my commentary and my answers. Where I am giving an opinion or my interpretation, I will note it as best I can. The law, like many things, has many interpretations - some good, some bad. Opinions on case law are diverse and I'm not here to present a single truth, in fact I will do my best to display the diversity of opinion around particular areas of law.
For those of you who don't care what I have to say but want some general info about the cases being argued this week, here are some good primers/resources.
UPDATE 2:15PM EST
Here are the oral argument recordings and transcripts from the DOMA case today. I'll be in and out the rest of the day and Ill be listening to these arguments. Answers may come sporadically but I will do my best to get to most of the Qs I miss tonight. Keep 'em coming!
UPDATE 10:45PM EST
Sorry my answers were intermittent the second half of the day, had a work project come up. Just answered a few more questions and am heading to bed. Thanks for all the Qs and I will check back in tomorrow to answer any stragglers. Otherwise, see you on decision day in June!
UPDATE 9:30AM EST DAY 2
I'm back and catching up with questions so ask more if you have them. Here is some good reading from SCOTUSBlog I recommend on the SSM cases.