Josh Blackman

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Josh Blackman is a professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston, and the author of An Introduction to Constitutional Law: 100 Supreme Court Cases Everyone Should Know.

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Executive Power

The Special Counsel’s Constitutional Analysis: Chilling Effects

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found that the federal obstruction of justice statutes can apply to the president, even though the statute did not expressly state that it applies to the president. Robert Mueller chose not to apply the avoidance canon known as the “clear statement” rule. Previously, I have argued that his decision was inconsistent with precedent from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

Federal Law Enforcement

The Special Counsel’s Constitutional Analysis: Corrupt Intent and the Take Care Clause

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found that the federal obstruction of justice statutes can apply to the president, even though the statutes do not state this expressly. Robert Mueller chose not to apply the avoidance canon known as the “clear statement” rule. In a recent Lawfare post, I argued that this decision was inconsistent with precedent from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

Executive Power

The Special Counsel’s Constitutional Analysis: The Clear Statement Rule

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report spans more than 400 pages. In a 12-page section near the end of the thick volume, Mueller tackles a critical question: Can the federal obstruction of justice statute apply to the president? The first element of the report’s analysis focuses on the so-called clear statement rule.