Professor Edward A. Purcell Jr. is the Joseph Solomon Distinguished Professor at NYLS and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the history of the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal judicial system.
A history professor turned constitutional law scholar, he has published four books on American history and the federal courts. This spring, he’ll publish a fifth—Antonin Scalia and American Constitutionalism: The Historical Significance of a Judicial Icon (Oxford University Press).
In the last few weeks, Professor Purcell published a trio of op-eds in The Hill related to the ongoing impeachment proceedings and presidential executive power:
Why law of evidence supports the verdict that the president is guilty
January 7, 2020
“The Constitution defines impeachment as a civil proceeding before the Senate. Its noncriminal nature means the principles of evidence that will govern federal civil trials offer a number of wise and appropriate guides for evaluating evidentiary issues, even though they do not necessarily apply to impeachment trials or control Senate decisions. They provide several established principles for reaching sound judgments about the truth as they are based on common understandings of human behavior. …” Read more.
Nancy Pelosi is defending the Constitution with her actions
December 27, 2019
“The question of impeaching President Trump presented House Democrats with a seemingly unsolvable dilemma. On the one hand, they were faced with a compelling constitutional duty. On the other hand, they confronted an insurmountable political reality. Overwhelming evidence pushed them to consider articles of impeachment, but equally overwhelming evidence also suggested that Senate Republicans would never convict in the trial. …” Read more.
Republications must not abandon originalism of the Constitution
December 3, 2019
“The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a passionate advocate of originalism, staunchly insisted that the meaning of the Constitution does not change. His views were embraced by the Republican Party under Ronald Reagan and became inextricably linked to modern conservatism. But under Donald Trump, the marriage between the Republican Party and originalism has been dissolved. We are now witnessing a determined campaign to fundamentally change the meaning of the Constitution. …” Read more.