Michael D. Ramsey

†††††† †††††† Professor of Law, University of San Diego Law School

Foreign Affairs Law Scholarship



The Constitution's Text in Foreign Affairs

(Harvard University Press, 2007)


 Evading the Treaty Power?: The Constitutionality of Nonbinding Agreements, 11 FIU L. Rev. 371 (2016)


This short article assesses the constitutionality of nonbinding international agreements with specific reference to the 2015 agreement regarding Iranís nuclear facilities and the Paris Agreement on climate change.


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


This article provides a textual explanation and defense of the idea of non-self-treaties.


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


Inspired by the concurring opinions in Bond v. United States, this article argues (expressly contrary to Justice Scalia) that Congress has enumerated power to enforce U.S. treaties.† However, it further argues that this power is limited in two key respects to preserve federalism values.


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


This article examines the Constitutionís approach to making supreme federal law, criticizing among other things modern lawís embrace of supreme law outside of the Constitutionís Article VI.† It also explores how, as a practical matter, to reconcile a commitment to original meaning with entrenched departures from original meaning, as in the case of the supremacy clause.


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

Responding to a contrary argument by Professor Saikrishna Prakash, this article contends that under the Constitutionís original meaning the U.S. President lacks power to initiate armed conflict but has independent power to respond with armed force when conflict is begun by a foreign enemy.

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

This article evaluates the Justice Department's executive power claims in its war-on-terror memoranda addressed to the issue of coercive interrogation of enemy detainees

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

An elaboration of the theory of executive power in foreign affairs presented in our 2001 Yale Law Journal article, this article responds to criticism from Professors Curtis Bradley and Martin Flaherty.

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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).

This article critiques the Supreme Court's opinion and its expansion of the President's preemptive power over state law in the 2004 Garamendi case

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

While commentators have generally assumed that the U.S. President lacks independent constitutional power to initiate armed conflict, this article builds a textual and historical case for that conclusion based on the eighteenth-century meaning of the phrase declaring war.

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

This article presents a comprehensive theory of the Presidentís foreign affairs power derived from the text and original meaning of Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

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

A companion to the 1999 article in the Notre Dame Law Review, this article contends that the structure of delegated and reserved powers in the U.S. Constitutionís Tenth Amendment encompasses foreign affairs authority as well as domestic authority, and thus that any exercise of federal authority or limit on state authority in the field of foreign affairs must derive from the Constitution.

 The Power of the States in Foreign Affairs, 75 Notre Dame L. Rev. 341 (1999).

This article contends that the U.S. Constitution contains no general limit upon the activities of state and local governments in the area or foreign affairs (although there are some specific limits)

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

This article argues, on the basis of the Constitutionís text and original meaning, that executive agreements (international agreements made by the President without the approval of Congress or the Senate) are sometimes constitutional but, contrary to modern practice, cannot displace inconsistent state 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)


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





 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 Didnít 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. Intíl 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. Intíl L. 701 (2016)

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

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 After Kiobel ó 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. Políy 863 (2012).

 International Wrongs, State Laws, and Presidential Policies, 32 Loyola of L.A. Intíl & Comp. L. Rev. 19 (2010).

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 Response: Directing Military Operations, 87 Texas L. Rev. See Also 29 (2009), available at www.texaslrev.com/seealso/volume-87/prakash/response-directing-military-operations.html (commenting on Saikrishna B. Prakash, The Separation and Overlap of War and Military Powers, 87 Texas L. Rev. 299 (2008)).


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


 Medellin v. Texas: Presidential Power and International Tribunals, 6 Georgetown J. L. & Public Policy 160 (2008) (panel discussion with R. Ted Cruz and Edward T. Swaine).


 Presidential Originalism?, 88 Boston Univ. L. Rev. 353 (2008) (symposium: ďThe Role of the President in the Twenty-First CenturyĒ).


 The Textual Basis of the Presidentís Foreign Affairs Powers, 30 Harvard J. Law & Public Policy 141 (2006).


 Text and History in the War Powers Debate: A Reply to Professor Yoo, 69 U. Chi. L. Rev 1685 (2002) (commenting on John C. Yoo, War and Constitutional Texts, 69 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1639 (2002)).



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and Constitutional Law scholarship

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