Saikrishna Prakash

Fast Facts

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Domestic Affairs
  • Law and Justice
  • Governance
  • Political Parties and Movements
  • Politics
  • The Presidency
  • Supreme Court

Saikrishna Prakash, faculty senior fellow, is the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Paul G. Mahoney Research Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School. His scholarship focuses on separation of powers, particularly executive powers. He teaches constitutional law, foreign relations Law and presidential powers at the University of Virginia Law School.

Prakash majored in economics and political science at Stanford University. At Yale Law School, he served as senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the John M. Olin Fellowship in Law, Economics and Public Policy. After law school, he clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court. After practicing in New York for two years, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and as an associate professor at Boston University School of Law. He then spent several years at the University of San Diego School of Law as the Herzog Research Professor of Law. Prakash has been a visiting professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago Law School. He also has served as a James Madison Fellow at Princeton University and Visiting Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Among Prakash's articles are "50 States, 50 Attorneys General and 50 Approaches to the Duty to Defend," published in the Yale Law Journal; "The Imbecilic Executive," published in the Virginia Law Review; and "The Sweeping Domestic War Powers of Congress," published in the Michigan Law Review. He is the author of The Living Presidency: An Originalist Argument against Its Ever-Expanding Powers and Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive.

Saikrishna Prakash News Feed

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will joins Saikrishna Prakash, professor of law at the University of Virginia, for a conversation on Prakash's new book, The Living Presidency: An Originalist Argument Against Its Ever-Expanding Powers. They explore the expansion of presidential power from the founding era to today; provide their take on what, if any, constraints there may be on executive power; and whether originalism can provide a solution. National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen moderates.
Saikrishna Prakash National Constitution Center
The system can still be saved. But their struggle for independence didn't begin with the current president.
The Washington Post
John J. Miller is joined by Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash to discuss his book, The Living Presidency.
Saikrishna Prakash National Review
The Supreme Court Wednesday takes up the rights of a despised class—“faithless” electors. Under the U.S. Constitution, electors vote in the Electoral College to decide who will serve as president. More than a dozen states punish electors if they fail to vote for the presidential candidate who won the state’s popular vote. But states lack authority to command presidential electors. States may no more direct electors to vote for Joe Biden or Donald Trump than tell citizens for whom to cast their Election Day ballots.
Saikrishna Prakash The Wall Street Journal
The need for social distancing has led to new demands for distant voting. With the coronavirus in the air, Congress is awash with proposals to allow senators and representatives to cast votes away from the chamber floors on Capitol Hill. It is true that desperate times call for desperate measures, but however extreme this reform may seem, remote voting would indeed be allowed under the Constitution. This new practice could also lead to the reform of one regrettable habit of the legislative branch.
Saikrishna Prakash The Hill
In the midst of our dread about the coronavirus, we are learning about social distancing and the physics of cough droplets. We also are discovering the limits of presidential power and witnessing how public expectations shape the presidency. But this hardly is the first time that a president has confronted a pandemic. The differences in how the first president handled the first pandemic and what some of us expect from our president today reveals quite a bit about how the founders envisioned the presidency and what it might yet become.
Saikrishna Prakash Richmond Times-Dispatch