An engaged scholar and award-winning teacher, Julian Davis Mortenson, the James G. Phillipp Professor of Law, 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.
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