IAMA Constitutional Lawyer - here to answer questions about Prop 8, DOMA, VRA, and Affirmative Action (and anything else about the Constitution or Supreme Court!)
I've got a pile of Qs on my old threads following yesterday's SSM decisions so, as promised, I'm back for the post-decision AMA. I'm around today save for a few meetings so I should be able to do Q&A most of the day.
Per usual, here's my regular intro.
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.
I do know the Espionage Act through my First Amendment forays, so I can answer Snowden related questions there.
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.
SSM Argument Day Q&A:
Constitution Day Q&A:
Obamacare Decision Day Q&A:
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.
UPDATE 1:00PM EDT
Got pulled away for a project briefly and this thread exploded. Going to try to get to everyone but may defer to scrolling through the thread and answering upvoted posts to avoid getting bogged down in discussion threads - so upvote your friends!