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Chris Edelson Assistant Professor Department of Government

Additional Positions at AU
Fellow, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies
Degrees
JD, Harvard Law School

BA, Brandeis University

Favorite Spot on Campus
A tie between the library, the gym, and Kerwin 101.
Book Currently Reading
From Fascism to Populism in History
Bio
Chris Edelson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government. His teaching and research interests focus on presidential national security power under the U.S. Constitution. His first book, Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in fall 2013. His second book, Power Without Constraint: The Post 9/11 Presidency and National Security was published in spring 2016.




Twitter Profile

See Also
SPA Department of Government
SPA Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Teaching

Spring 2024

  • GOVT-226 Const, Pres Power, War on Terror: Const, Pres Power, War on Terr

  • GOVT-226 Const, Pres Power, War on Terror: Const, Pres Power, War on Terr

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

  • How to Keep the Republic (Before It's Too Late): Why a New Constitution is Necessary to Strengthen Liberal Democracy in the United States (book chapter, 2020) 
  • Sounding the Alarm: Trump's Emergency Declaration at the Southern Border and Constitutional Failure (2020) 
  • Power Without Constraint: The Post-9/11 Presidency and National Security (University of Wisconsin Press 2016)
  • Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror (University of Wisconsin Press 2013)
  • Judging in a Vacuum, Or Once More Without Feeling: How Justice Scalia’s Jurisprudential Approach Repeats Errors Made in Plessy v. Ferguson (Akron Law Review 2012)

Professional Presentations

  • “The Constitution in Wartime: Discussion for Constitution Day”, Virginia Military Institute

    (Lexington, VA), September 18, 2023

  • “The Unaccountable Presidency: How the US Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic Reveals A Breakdown in the Constitutional System”, Southern Political Science Association, January 8, 2021 (online)

  • “Trump, Presidential Power and the Constitution” (discussant), American Political Science

    Association, September 12, 2020. (online)

  • “Power without Constraint: the post-9/11 Presidency and National Security”, Lafayette (LA)

    Public Library, May 1, 2019 (online)

  • “How to Keep the Republic (Before It’s Too Late): Why a New Constitution is Necessary to

    Strengthen Liberal Democracy in the United States,” American Political Science Association,

    August 31, 2018.  (Boston).

  • “The Trump Administration’s Challenge to Constitutional Democracy,” Conference on Cultural

     Diplomacy in the UN, American University, February 26, 2018.

  • “The Trump Administration’s Challenge to Constitutional Democracy,” North Carolina Central

    University, February 15, 2018 (Durham, North Carolina).

  • “Trump is (Un)doing More Than You Think,” American University, November 29, 2017.

  • “The Trump Administration’s Challenge to Constitutional Democracy,” George Mason University, October 12, 2017 (Fairfax, Virginia).

  • “Trump’s Challenge to Constitutional Democracy,” American University, January 18, 2017.

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Constitution, Constitutional law, executive power, presidential power, Congress, emergency power, national security, civil rights law, terrorism, national security law, human rights law

Additional Information

Chris Edelson is an assistant professor in the Department of Government. He is an expert in presidential national security power under the U.S. Constitution. Edelson is a Harvard Law School graduate and practiced law before joining the AU faculty. He has authored Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror (Wisconsin Press, 2013) and Power without Constraint: The Post 9/11 Presidency and National Security (Wisconsin Press, 2016). Edelson is available to discuss: the legal scope and limits of presidential national security power; Congress's role regarding national security and the use of military force; relevant precedents applicable to the use of military force; and issues of presidential national security power arising in the context of the presidential election. Edelson's op-eds have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Newsday, Constitution Daily, US News & World Report, Reason Magazine, The Hill, as well as other print and online outlets. He's appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal and Book TV, NPR, and Sinclair Broadcast Group Television, in addition to other media outlets.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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