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 Albert Clark Tate, Jr., 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

“It would resemble a banana republic if people came into office and started going after their opponents willy-nilly,” said Saikrishna Prakash, a constitutional law professor at the University of Virginia who studies executive power.
Saikrishna Prakash Washington Post
Leading up to the Miller Center’s 50th anniversary in 2025, this conference shares new ideas and best practices to support a more responsible and effective presidency.
Miller Center Presents
The threat of a debt default is again in the air, with the possible dreadful effect of ruining the credit of the U.S. To stave off that default and embarrassment, President Biden is toying with the idea of asserting that the debt ceiling violates the 14th Amendment. Neither the Constitution nor the law nor common sense is on his side.
Saikrishna Prakash The Wall Street Journal
Whether the Constitution grants the President a removal power is a longstanding, far-reaching, and hotly contested question. Based on new materials from the Founding and early practice, we defend the Madisonian view that the “executive power” encompassed authority to remove executive officials at pleasure. This conception prevailed in Congress and described executive branch practice, with Presidents issuing commissions during pleasure and removing executive officers at will.
Saikrishna Prakash Harvard Law Review
“You have to wonder what purpose is served by repealing the 2002 AUMF in isolation,” said Saikrishna Prakash, a law professor at the University of Virginia and expert on presidential powers. “By the time you get to Vietnam and beyond, the executive branch believes that it has constitutional authority to use massive amounts of military force without going to Congress,” he said.
Saikrishna Prakash The Wall Street Journal
With two U.S. presidents now facing special counsel investigations and one facing legal jeopardy on a host of other matters, questions over how and when a president might face legal action are swirling. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently appointed a special counsel to investigate President Joseph Biden and his administration’s handling of classified documents, months after an investigation of President Donald Trump’s storage of classified files at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida commenced. Trump is also facing criminal investigations and civil litigation involving his actions on Jan. 6, his tax and business activities, alleged election interference and more.
Saikrishna Prakash UVA School of Law