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Order of the Coif Distinguished Visiting Speaker - Prof. Michael Gerhardt

Lessons Learned: Presidential Accountability in the Modern Age

Date: Time: 12:10 pm–1:00 pm
McCollum Hall Room: 115
Additional Info: LAW
In 2020, Nebraska Law was selected to host the 2020 Order of the Coif Distinguished Visiting Speaker. Order of the Coif is a national legal “honorary scholastic society the purpose of which is to encourage excellence in legal education by fostering a spirit of careful study.” One of its programs is to help fund a guest speaker to visit several law schools every year. Coif picks a particular speaker each year, and therefore we are excited to host Professor Mike Gerhardt, the Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina. Prof. Gerhardt has been highly involved and a key point person in both President Clinton’s and Trump’s impeachment trials.

In his lecture, “Lessons Learned: Presidential Accountability in the Modern Age,” Professor Mike Gerhardt will discuss what the past several years, including the two impeachments of Donald Trump, have taught us about the constitutional efficacy of impeachment and other options designed to hold presidents accountable for their misconduct.

Michael Gerhardt is Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Scholar in Residence at the National Constitution Center, and the inaugural Richard Beeman Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The principal focus of his scholarship and public service has been constitutional conflicts between presidents and Congress.

Besides authoring or co-authoring more than 100 law review articles and dozens of op eds in major outlets, Professor Gerhardt has authored seven books, including, most recently, Lincoln’s Mentors: The Education of a Leader (HarperCollins 2021). The Financial Times named his book, The Forgotten Presidents: Their Forgotten Constitutional Legacy (Oxford University Press), as one of the best non-fiction books published in 2013. His two books on impeachment — Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press 2018); and The Federal Impeachment Process: A Constitutional and Historical Analysis (3d edition University of Chicago Press 2019) are considered among the leading treatises on the subject.

Professor Gerhardt has testified more than twenty times before Congress.
In 1998, he was the only joint witness to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on President Clinton’s impeachment, and he has been the only legal scholar invited to advise the entire House of Representatives on the law of impeachment. In 2019, he testified in the House’s first set of impeachment proceedings against President Trump, making him one of two legal scholars in history to testify in two different presidential impeachment proceedings. In 2021, he served as Special Counsel to the Presiding Officer, Senator Patrick Leahy, in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. Professor Gerhardt is the only legal scholar to have participated in confirmation proceedings for eight of the nine justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court. In 2015, the Library of Congress selected Professor Gerhardt as the first independent scholar to oversee and coordinate the updating of the official United States Constitution Annotated.

Professor Gerhardt received his B.A with honors from Yale University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a JD with honors and Order of the Coif from the University of Chicago. He grew up in Mobile, Alabama, where he was ranked second in state junior tennis and was the Alabama state debate champion.

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This event originated in Law.