Michael D. Ramsey

               Professor of Law, University of San Diego Law School




Author of:


The Constitution's Text in Foreign Affairs

(Harvard University Press, 2007)


The Constitution’s Text and Customary International Law, __ Georgetown L.J. __ (forthcoming 2018)

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The Original Meaning of “Natural Born,”  20 U. Pa. J. Const’l L. __ (forthcoming 2018)

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Beyond the Text: Justice Scalia’s Originalism in Practice, 92 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1945 (2017)

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A Textual Approach to Treaty Non-Self-Execution, 2015 BYU L. Rev. 1639 (2015).

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Congress’s Limited Power to Enforce Treaties, 90 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1539 (2015).

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The Limits of Custom in Constitutional and International Law, 50 S.D. L. Rev. 867 (2013).

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The Supremacy Clause, Original Meaning and Modern Law, 74 Ohio St. L.J. 559 (2013).

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International Law Limits on Investor Liability in Human Rights Litigation, 50 Harvard J. Int’l L. 271 (2009).

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The President's Power to Respond to Attacks,  93 Cornell L. Rev. 169 (2007).   

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Torturing Executive Power, 93 Georgetown L.J. 1213 (2005).


Foreign Affairs and the Jeffersonian Executive: A Defense, 89 Minn. L. Rev. 1591 (2005) (with Saikrishna B. Prakash).

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American Insurance Association v. Garamendi and Executive Preemption in Foreign Affairs, 46 Wm & Mary L. Rev. 825 (2004) (with Brannon P. Denning).

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Textualism and War Powers, 69 U. Chicago L. Rev. 1543 (2002).


The Executive Power over Foreign Affairs, 111 Yale L.J. 231 (2001) (with Saikrishna B. Prakash).       

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The Myth of Extraconstitutional Foreign Affairs Power, 42 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 379 (2000).


The Power of the States in Foreign Affairs: The Original Understanding of Foreign Policy Federalism, 75 Notre Dame L. Rev. 341 (1999).


Escaping International Comity, 83 Iowa L. Rev. 893 (1998).


Executive Agreements and the (Non)Treaty Power, 77 N. Car. L. Rev. 133 (1998).


Acts of State and Foreign Sovereign Obligations, 39 Harv. Int’l L.J. 1 (1998).

Co-Editor of:


International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court: Continuity and Change

(Cambridge Univ. Press 2011) (David L. Sloss, Michael D. Ramsey & William S. Dodge, editors)


Winner of the American Society of International Law’s 2012 Certificate of Merit for “high technical craftsmanship and utility to practicing lawyers and scholars.”


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Book Review: The Goldilocks Executive, 90 Tex. L. Rev. 973 (2012) (with Saikrishna Prakash) (reviewing Eric A. Posner & Adrian Vermeule, The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic (Oxford Univ. Press 2010)).

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Book Review: Dogs that Didn’t Bark, 2009 Review of Politics 71 (reviewing William G. Howell and Jon C. Pevehouse, While Dangers Gather: Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers (Princeton Univ. Press 2007)).


Book Review: Toward a Rule of Law in Foreign Affairs, 106 Colum. L. Rev. 1450 (2006) (reviewing John Yoo, The Powers of War and Peace (2005)).


Book Review: Judges in Contemporary Democracy, 55 J. Legal Education 305 (2005) (reviewing Robert Badinter & Stephen Breyer, eds., Judges in Contemporary Democracy: An International Conversation (2004)).


Review Essay: Textbook Revisionism, 43 Va. J. Int’l L. 1111 (2003) (reviewing Curtis A. Bradley & Jack L. Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (2003)).

Constitutional War Initiation and the Obama Presidency, 110 Amer. J. Int’l L. 701 (2016))

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Originalism, Natural Born Citizens, and the 1790 Naturalization Act: A Reply to Saul Cornell, 2016 Wisc. L. Rev. Forward 146 (2016)

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Evading the Treaty Power?: The Constitutionality of Nonbinding Agreements, 11 Florida Int'l U. L. Rev. 371 (2016) 

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Returning the Alien Tort Statute to Obscurity, 52 Colum. J. Transn’l L. 67 (2013)

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After Kiobel — International Human Rights Litigation in State Court and under State Law, 3 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 1 (2013) (with D. Childress and C. Whytock).

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Meet the New Boss: Continuity in Presidential War Powers?, 35 Harv. J. L. & P. Pol’y 863 (2012).


International Wrongs, State Laws, and Presidential Policies, 32 Loyola of L.A. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 19 (2010) (symposium:  Litigating Genocide)

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Response: Directing Military Operations, 87 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 29 (2009) (responding to Saikrishna B. Prakash,              “The Separation and Overlap of War and Military Powers,” 87 Tex. L. Rev. 299 (2008)).

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Missouri v. Holland and Historical Textualism,  73 Missouri L. Rev. 969 (2008) (symposium: Return to Missouri v. Holland)

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The Textual Basis of the President's Foreign Affairs Power, 30 Harvard J. of Law and Public Policy 141 (2006).


The Empirical Dilemma of International Law, 41 San Diego L. Rev. 1243 (2004).


International Materials and Domestic Rights: Reflections on Atkins and Lawrence, 98 Amer. J. Int’l. L. 69 (2004) (contribution to “Agora: The United States Constitution and International Law”).



The Treaty and Its Rivals: Making International Agreements, in U.S. Law and Practice, in Treaties as Law of the Land? Change and Uncertainty in the Domestic Effects of International Agreements (Paul Dubinsky, et al., eds.) (Cambridge Univ. Press 2017)

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Customary International Law in the Supreme Court, 1901-1945, in International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court: Continuity and Change (David L. Sloss, Michael D. Ramsey and William S. Dodge, eds., Cambridge Univ. Press 2011)


The Story of the Prize Cases: Executive Action and Judicial Review in Wartime, in Presidential Power Stories              (Christopher H. Schroeder & Curtis A. Bradley, eds., Foundation Press 2008) (with Thomas H. Lee)




Transnational Law and Practice (Aspen Casebook Series, 2015) (with Donald Earl Childress III and Christopher A. Whytock)


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International Business Transactions: A Problem-Oriented Coursebook (West Publishing, 12th ed., 2015) (with Ralph H. Folsom, Michael Wallace Gordon and Michael P. Van Alstine)


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