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Mortenson, Julian Davis

Professor of Law



E-mail jdmorten@umich.edu

An engaged scholar and award-winning teacher, Julian Davis Mortenson specializes in constitutional and international law. His research focuses on the process of establishing constitutional structure, usually from a historical perspective. His principal long-term project aims to develop a comprehensive theory of presidential power at the American Founding, and he is co-authoring a new introductory textbook on constitutional law. He has held visiting appointments on the faculties of Cambridge University, KU Leuven, and the University of Tokyo.

Professor Mortenson is an active litigator. Representative constitutional matters include his service as lead counsel in a pre-Obergefell suit that required Michigan to recognize the marriages of more than 300 same-sex couples; his work advising gun control groups on both litigation and legislative reform; his representation of discharged military service members challenging the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law prior to its congressional repeal; and his work as one of the principal drafters of the merits briefs in the landmark case Boumediene v. Bush, which secured the right of Guantanamo detainees to challenge their incarceration. He also litigates complex transnational matters in the U.S. courts, including actions involving the enforcement of foreign law and foreign judgments. He has served as arbitrator, counsel, and expert witness in commercial and investor-state disputes under the ICSID, ICC, UNCITRAL, and VIAC rules.

Before joining the faculty, Professor Mortenson worked at the law firm WilmerHale, in the President's Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and The Hon. J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to law school, he was a management consultant with a client portfolio spanning the finance, manufacturing, oil and gas, and information technology industries. Professor Mortenson was salutatorian of his class at Stanford Law School and received an AB in history, summa cum laude, from Harvard College.

Recent Publications

More Publications...


"Treaty Interpretation in International Investment Law." In Perspectives on the Modern Law of Treaties. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming.​

"Snowflakes in a Blizzard: Treaty Interpretation in International Investment Law." In ​Perspectives on the Modern Law of Treaties. Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming.​
Full Text: SSRN

"International Humanitarian Law and Constitutional Law: Teacher's Manual and Supplementary Materials." International Committee of the Red Cross, Forthcoming.

"Executive Power and National Security Power." Andrew Kent, co-author. In The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution, edited by Karen Orren and John Compton, 261-91. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.
Full Text: SSRN

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." Kristina Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 111, no. 1 (2017): 155-96.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." Kristina Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 111, no. 2 (2017): 476-537.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." Kristina Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 111, no. 3 (2017): 751-91.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." Kristina Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 111, no. 4 (2017): 1014-62.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 110, no. 1 (2016): 116-29.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-author. Am. J. Int'l L. 110, no. 2 (2016): 346-89.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 110, no. 3 (2016): 554-95.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Lexis | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 110, no. 4 (2016): 788-833.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

"Zivotofsky: The Difference Between Inherent and Exclusive Presidential Power." AJIL Unbound 109, no. 2 (2015): 45-50.
Full Text: Westlaw | WWW

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 109, no. 1 (2015): 174-213.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Lexis | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

"Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 109, no. 2 (2015): 407-32.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Lexis | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 109, no. 3 (2015): 643-76.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Lexis | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 109, no. 4 (2015): 873-88.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Lexis | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

"Apotex v. United States: Narrowing NAFTA's Definition of 'Investment'." J. World Inv. & Trade 16, no. 1 (2015): 163-72.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Brill Online (UMich Users) | Brill Online

"A Theory of Republican Prerogative." S. Cal. L. Rev. 88, no. 1 (2015): 45-96.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | SSRN
Professor

Activities

Presented "Assessing the New Executive Order on Immigration, Entry, and Refugees," University of Michigan Law School, January 2017.

Presented "Article II Vests Executive Power, not the Royal Prerogative," Public Law Workshop, University of Cambridge, December 2016.

Presented "Article II Vests Executive Power, not the Royal Prerogative," Clare Hall Colloquium, University of Cambridge, October 2016.

Moderator, "International Investment Law and the Tobacco Packaging Disputes," University of Cambridge, November 2016.

Presented "The Real Problem with Modern Customary International Law," University of Nottingham, November 2016.

Presented "LGBT Rights Litigation: The Process of Constitutional Change," University of Cambridge, October 2016.

Presented "Bank Markazi and the Separation of Powers," Fawley Workshop, University of Michigan Law School, June 2016.

Presented "Affirmative Action and the Historical Record," Federalist Society Forum, University of Michigan Law School, February 2016.

Presented "Employment Discrimination and LGBTQ Status: The Conceptual Framework," Michigan Employment Lawyer's Association, Northville, Michigan, February 2016.

Discussant, "International Economic Law," Federalist Society roundtable, Los Angeles, October 2015.

Presented "Tough Choices: The Work of Building a Life," Blue Jeans Lecture, University of Michigan Law School, November 2015.

Discussed "Marriage Equality, Employment Discrimination, and Other Developments in LGBTQ Law," Ambassador Roundtable, Detroit, Michigan, August 2015.

Presented "Zivotovsky: Round Two on Presidential Power," Fawley Workshop, University of Michigan Law School, June 2015.

Presented "Enforcing Hong Kong Arbitral Awards in Mainland China," Japan Arbitration Association, June 2015.

Presented "Snowflakes in a Blizzard: International Investment Law as a Treaty Regime," University of Tokyo Law School, June 2015..

Commentator, "EU Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights," University of Michigan Law School, April 2015.

Commentator, "The Rationality of Rational Basis Review," Federalist Society Forum, University of Michigan Law School, February 2015.