Saikrishna Prakash

Fast Facts

  • James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School
  • Author of Imperial From the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive
  • Clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
  • Expertise on constitutional law, presidential powers, foreign relations law, war powers, emergency powers, separation of powers

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 Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive (Yale University Press 2015).

Saikrishna Prakash News Feed

In contrast, impeachment only requires a simple majority in the House before a two-thirds majority in the Senate to remove. “However difficult it is to impeach someone, this is even more difficult,” says Saikrishna Prakash, professor of law and Miller Center fellow at the University of Virginia.
Saikrishna Prakash The Christian Science Monitor
“There is no case of the Supreme Court that discusses the ability of the Congress to secure documents and testimony from the White House during an impeachment,” says Saikrishna Prakash, an expert on presidential authority at the University of Virginia School of Law. It’s unclear if the courts will view impeachment as altering the calculus in deciding cases that are fundamentally about the balance of power between two branches of government.
Saikrishna Prakash Mother Jones
So what could happen if Trump were convicted in an impeachment proceeding? For starters, it’s still possible Trump could remain president despite a conviction, according to Saikrishna Prakash, a law professor and senior fellow at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. “The constitution says, basically, the sanctions shall extend to no further than removal from office and a bar from holding office,” says Prakash, an expert in constitutional law and impeachment. “It leaves open the question whether there’s some sanction less than those.
Saikrishna Prakash Maclean's
This controversy, like the many that have preceded it, is being refracted through partisan prisms. When that happens, as it invariably does in our polarized national climate, incumbents can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Hill
Saikrishna Prakash, an expert in constitutional law and impeachment, pointed out that Ms. Pelosi’s carefully worded statement stopped short of actually backing articles of impeachment, leaving her room to manoeuvre. For Ms. Pelosi, whether to impeach is a more political than legal calculation, he said. “She’s said something to placate her base but without committing herself to bring an impeachment motion to a vote,” said Prof. Prakash of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. “I think she’s holding on to all her options.”
Saikrishna Prakash The Globe and Mail
n 2006, years before Christine Blasey Ford publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her when they were both in high school, the Yale Law Journal published a provocative paper. The paper, “How To Remove a Federal Judge” by law professors Saikrishna Prakash and Steven D. Smith, lays out a road map for, well, how to remove a federal judge without resorting to the impeachment power. It argues that a provision of the Constitution stating that federal judges and justices “shall hold their offices during good behaviour” is widely misunderstood.
Saikrishna Prakash Vox