Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Faculty Biographies > Faculty Bio


Mortenson, Julian Davis

Professor of Law

3266 South Hall
734.763.5695
E-mail jdmorten@umich.edu

An engaged scholar and award-winning teacher​, Julian Davis Mortenson specializes in constitutional and transnational law. His research focuses on the allocation of public authority in both international and domestic governance, frequently from a historical perspective. He currently serves as coauthor of the Contemporary Practice of the United States section of the American Journal of International Law.

Professor Mortenson is active in both international arbitration and domestic constitutional litigation. He was lead counsel on a team that recently secured a permanent injunction requiring Michigan to recognize the marriages of more than 300 same-sex couples. He also has served as arbitrator, counsel, and expert witness in commercial and investor-state disputes under the ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, and VIAC rules, and has litigated complex transnational matters in the U.S. courts, including actions involving the enforcement of foreign law and foreign judgments. Other representative matters include 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, and his representation of discharged military service members challenging the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law prior to its congressional repeal.

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 both Justice David H. Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Hon. J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 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...


"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

​"Executive Power and National Security.​" A. Kent, co-author. In The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution, edited by J. Compton and K. Orren. Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming.

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

Co-author. The Search for Authorization: Three Eras of the President's National Security Power. A. Kent, co-author. Working Paper.
Full Text: SSRN

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 | 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. 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-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 109, no. 4 (2015): 873-88.
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. 109, no. 3 (2015): 643-76.
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. 1 (2015): 174-213.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Lexis | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

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

"Apotex v. United States: Narrowing NAFTA's Definition of 'Investment'." J. World Inv. & Trade 16, no. 1 (2015): 163-72.
Full Text: WWW

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

"Law Matters, Even to the Executive." Review of Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11, by J. Goldsmith, and The Executive Unbound After the Madisonian Republic, by E. A. Posner and A. Verneule. Mich. L. Rev. 112, no. 6 (2014): 1015-42.
Full Text: WWW ​​

Co-editor. "Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law." K. Daugirdas, co-editor. Am. J. Int'l L. 108, no. 4 (2014): 783-842.
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. 108, no. 3 (2014): 517-61.
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. 108, no. 2 (2014): 321-47.
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. 108, no. 1 (2014): 94-115.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Lexis | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

"The Travaux of Travaux: Is the Vienna Convention Hostile to Drafting History?" Am. J. Int'l L. 107, no. 4 (2013): 780-822.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR | Lexis | Westlaw | SSRN

"Reciprocity and the Regulatory Function of International Investment Law." Harv. Int'l. L. J. Online 54 (2013): 124-36.
Full Text: WWW

"Quiborax SA et al v Plurinational State of Bolivia: The Uneasy Role of Precedent in Defining Investment." ICSID Rev. 28, no. 2 (2013): 254-61.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | Oxford Journals (UMich users) | Oxford Journals | SSRN
Professor
Message : Invalid object name 'LawDataMart_9.dbo.Class_Attribute'.
Message : at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection, Action`1 wrapCloseInAction) at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.ThrowExceptionAndWarning(TdsParserStateObject stateObj, Boolean callerHasConnectionLock, Boolean asyncClose) at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.TryRun(RunBehavior runBehavior, SqlCommand cmdHandler, SqlDataReader dataStream, BulkCopySimpleResultSet bulkCopyHandler, TdsParserStateObject stateObj, Boolean& dataReady) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.TryConsumeMetaData() at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.get_MetaData() at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.FinishExecuteReader(SqlDataReader ds, RunBehavior runBehavior, String resetOptionsString) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReaderTds(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, Boolean async, Int32 timeout, Task& task, Boolean asyncWrite, SqlDataReader ds) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReader(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, String method, TaskCompletionSource`1 completion, Int32 timeout, Task& task, Boolean asyncWrite) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReader(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, String method) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior behavior, String method) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.ExecuteDbDataReader(CommandBehavior behavior) at System.Data.Common.DbCommand.System.Data.IDbCommand.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior behavior) at System.Data.Common.DbDataAdapter.FillInternal(DataSet dataset, DataTable[] datatables, Int32 startRecord, Int32 maxRecords, String srcTable, IDbCommand command, CommandBehavior behavior) at System.Data.Common.DbDataAdapter.Fill(DataSet dataSet, Int32 startRecord, Int32 maxRecords, String srcTable, IDbCommand command, CommandBehavior behavior) at System.Data.Common.DbDataAdapter.Fill(DataSet dataSet, String srcTable) at FacultyBioWebParts.FacBioCurriculumInterestAreas.FacBioCurriculumInterestAreas.GetCIA()
Message : Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Message : at FacultyBioWebParts.FacBioCurriculumInterestAreas.FacBioCurriculumInterestAreas.CreateChildControls()

Activities

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.

Presented "Article II Vests Executive Power, Not the Royal Prerogative," Yale-Duke Foreign Relations Law Roundtable, Yale Law School, October 2014.

Presented "United States v. Bond: The Molehill that Remained a Molehill," Fawley Workshop, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, June 2014.

Presented "Judicial Intervention in the Electoral Process," International Judicial Forum, Malta, May 2013. ​

Presented "Emergency Power Theory in Historical Perspective," McGill Law School, May 2013. ​

Presented "Kiobel and the Future of Domestic Human Rights Litigation," Michigan International Law Review Forum, April 2013.

Discussed "The Destabilizing Legal Architecture of Counterterrorism," Michigan Law Review Forum, March 2013.

Presented "LGBT Rights and the Marriage Equality Cases," Outlaws Forum, Michigan Law School, March 2013.

Presented "A History of Treaty Interpretation," Faculty Workshop, SMU Law School, January 2013.