Emoluments, Textualism and Original Intent

Posted on Categories Constitutional Interpretation, Constitutional Law, Legal History, Public1 Comment on Emoluments, Textualism and Original Intent

A wooden judge's gavel lies atop of a copy of the United States Constitution.The ongoing refusal of President Donald Trump to both reveal the specifics of his personal finances and to decline any income from sources outside of his official salary as President has brought renewed attention to the Emoluments Clauses of the United States Constitution.  There are two such clauses, which state as follows:

The Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits any “Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust” from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State,” absent “the Consent of the Congress.” U.S. Const. art. I, §9, cl. 8.  The Domestic Emoluments Clause entitles the President to receive a salary while in office and forbids him from “receiv[ing] within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.” U.S. Const. art. II, §1, cl. 7.
The meaning of these two provisions has become the subject of public debate and also litigation.  In one leading case, the State of Maryland and the District of Colombia have sued Donald Trump for violating these constitutional provisions.  They are suing for declaratory and injunctive relief which would compel President Trump to comply with the terms of the Constitution. Continue reading “Emoluments, Textualism and Original Intent”

First Looks Can Be Deceiving in Giessen, Germany

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on First Looks Can Be Deceiving in Giessen, Germany

A plate of gelato ice cream shaped like spaghetti noodles and covered in red sauce.To the left you can see a photo that seems to show a plate of spaghetti noodles topped by some sort of strawberry sauce.  However, first looks can be deceiving.  This is actually a photo of a popular type of gelato, called “spaghetti eis,” that is served at the Cafe San Marcos and at numerous other locations in Giessen, Germany.

Similarly, if you were to walk around the campus of Justus Liebig University for the next three weeks, you would undoubtedly see a large group of students laughing and talking as they make their way to and from classes.  You might even assume that these are German law students attending a summer session.  However, once again first looks can be deceiving.

These students currently enjoying the warm and sunny weather are actually over 40 law students who have gathered in Giessen from the United States and across the globe to participate in the Summer Session in International and Comparative Law co-hosted once again by the Marquette University Law School and our partners the University of Wisconsin and Justus Liebig University.  There are 14 students attending from the United States and a variety of other countries represented including Brazil, Poland, Egypt, Portugal, Belgium, Macedonia, Italy and Vietnam, to name a few.

At this stage of the program, the students have finished a week of classes, and a whirlwind field trip to Berlin, and they are beginning to feel at home in Giessen.  A Laser Tag outing has been planned.  The best Karaoke Bar in town has been located. Continue reading “First Looks Can Be Deceiving in Giessen, Germany”

Remembering Professor Gordon Hylton

Posted on Categories Legal History, Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School History, Public, Sports & Law1 Comment on Remembering Professor Gordon Hylton

Headshot of the late Professor Gordon Hylton.The Marquette Law School community is saddened by the news that Professor J. Gordon Hylton has passed away at age 65, following a battle with cancer.

Gordon was a wonderful colleague on the Law School faculty.  He joined the faculty at Marquette University Law School in 1995, after teaching previously at the Chicago-Kent College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology.  Gordon left Marquette Law School in 2015 to join the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law full time (having visited at UVA many semesters previously).  He also served a memorable year  as the Fulbright Professor of Law at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kiev, Ukraine.  A wonderful In Memoriam webpage celebrating Gordon’s career appears on the website of the University of Virginia School of Law.

Gordon taught courses in Property Law, Trusts and Estates,  and Legal History, among others, and was also closely involved with the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette Law School.  He was a frequent contributor to the Marquette Law School Faculty Blog, where he was known for his posts on the history of Marquette Law School in general and on the often overlooked athletes who had a historical connection with our institution.  His blog posts were sometimes quirky, often obscure, but always among the most interesting to appear on the Faculty Blog. Continue reading “Remembering Professor Gordon Hylton”

Our May Bloggers Have Arrived!

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Headshot of law student Darrin Pribbernow.
Darrin Pribbernow
Headshot of Attorney Mark Thomsen.
Mark Thomsen








Please join me in welcoming our two guest bloggers for the month of May.

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Darrin Pribbernow.  Darrin introduces himself as follows: “I grew up in New Holstein, Wisconsin. I attended Lakeland University and achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with minors in sociology and political science in 2017. During my undergraduate career I was involved in many organizations including: Student Government Association, the Zeta Chi Fraternity, and Criminal Justice club. Each organization afforded me unique networking and leadership opportunities. My interest in the law began in middle school and it has been my goal since then to become a lawyer. The move to Milwaukee from such a small community was daunting to say the least. Having now lived here for a year, however, I can’t imagine going back to a small-town lifestyle. My decision to attend Marquette is already one of the best that I have made and I look forward to further developing my skills as a lawyer in pursuit of a career as a criminal prosecutor in Wisconsin.”

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Mark Thomsen (cum laude, 1987).  Mark is an attorney at the Milwaukee office of Gingras, Cates & Wachs.  On the lawfirm website, Mark describes his career as follows: “When the Indiana steel mill department shutdown in 1984 where I had worked for nearly 8 years as a steelworker, including a stint as union representative, my family and I moved to Milwaukee. I started law school and after graduating in 1987, I served as a law clerk to the Hon. John L. Coffey, circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. My time as a lawyer has now spanned 30 years, and my practice is primarily dedicated to representing and fighting for justice for injured people, including those injured by nursing home neglect, by medical and legal malpractice, in automobile and trucking collisions, by people’s general negligence, by defective products, and for violations of individual’s civil rights (§1983 claims). During this time, whether by settlement or trial whenever necessary, I have successfully obtained millions over the years for those individuals and families I have been honored to represent.”

We look forward to reading your posts over the next month.

Overheard Outside Eckstein Hall

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The following conversation was overheard this morning outside of the entrance to the parking structure in Eckstein Hall:

Parking Attendant:  I’m sorry, but you will have to back up your car.  The parking structure is full.

Faculty Member:  I can see past the gate.  There are plenty of empty spots.

Parking Attendant:  Those spots are reserved for faculty and students only.

Faculty Member:  But I have been on the faculty for 26 years.

Parking Attendant:  My apologies.  I didn’t recognize you.  However, those spots are reserved for today’s On the Issues with Mike Gousha.  He is interviewing the author of the book “Trump Bad: How to Sell Your Book By Using Trump’s Name in the Title.”

Faculty Member:  I happen to know that that event is tomorrow.

Parking Attendant:  My mistake.  Today those spots are reserved for people attending Charles Franklin’s press conference.  He has new poll results: “Public Support for Cheese Curds Reaches Record Low in Wisconsin.”

Faculty Member:  I think that you made that up. Continue reading “Overheard Outside Eckstein Hall”

Our April Bloggers Have Arrived!

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Attorney Bill Davidson stands in ront of a Wisconsin flag.
Bill Davidson
Head shot of student Benjamin Britton.
Benjamin Britton








Please join me in welcoming our two guest bloggers for the month of April.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is  Bill Davidson.  Bill is a December 2016 graduate of Marquette University Law School and has served as an Assistant District Attorney in Milwaukee County since February 2017. In addition to prosecuting a wide variety of civil and criminal offenses in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Bill has represented the State of Wisconsin in several matters before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. He resides in the Greater Milwaukee Area with his wife and daughter where he enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Benjamin James Britton.  Benjamin introduces himself as follows: “I am a father to a 6 year old son and currently a 3L at Marquette University Law School graduating in May 2018. Prior to coming to law school I obtained my Bachelor’s in Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin with a Minor in psychology in May of 2007. Upon completing my undergraduate studies, I immediately began working as a paralegal and have continued to do so during my studies at Marquette.”

We look forward to reading your posts!

Tuition Reduced for Summer Study Abroad in Germany

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Tuition Reduced for Summer Study Abroad in Germany
A group of over 30 law students stand together holding their certificates at the Closing Ceremony of the 2017 program in Giessen, Germany.
Summer Schools Justus-Liebig-Universität 2017 Closing Ceremony

Time is running out to apply for the 2018 Summer Session in International and Comparative Law to be held over 4 weeks in Giessen, Germany (July 14 – August 11, 2018).  The tuition for the program has been reduced in the amount of $750.  Accordingly, the total amount of academic and non-academic fees for 4 Law School credits, lodging and two field trips has been reduced to only $4,350 (airfare is still the responsibility of each student).  We are very pleased to be able to provide this reduction in the total cost of the program for all of our participants.

The deadline for applications for this summer’s program is March 23.  Applications will be accepted after the deadline if there is space available.  Applications can be downloaded on the following webpage:


Additional details, including course and faculty information, can be viewed by navigating the links on the webpage.

This is a fantastic opportunity to live and learn with law students from all over the world and to take classes from an international faculty.  Don’t let this chance pass you by.

See Professor Fallone if you have any questions, or email him at edward.fallone@marquette.edu .

Duberstein Team Battles Competitors, Nor’Easter

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Head shot photo of AlexanderO'Reilly.Head shot photo of Bradley Suiters.Head shot photo of Jacob Heuett.Welcome home to the Law School team that participated last weekend in the annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Law Moot Court Competition at St. John’s University in New York City.  This is the first year that the Marquette University Law School has entered a team in the Duberstein Competition, which has a reputation for fierce competition and high quality judging.  Our team of Jacob Heuett, Bradley Suiters and Alexander O’Reilly worked long hours to prepare for the competition, only to do battle with a Nor’Easter that closed airports in New York City and delayed their arrival until early Sunday morning.  The storm interfered with the travel of numerous teams, and the competition organizers were forced to cancel the first round of arguments and schedule some teams to argue back to back.  Despite facing adversity, our team performed admirably.  While the team did not advance to the  octo-finals, they set a foundation upon which future Law School teams can build.  Special thanks to Len Leverson for serving as the team’s practitioner coach.  Congratulations!

Give A Warm Welcome To Our February Bloggers

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Please join me in welcoming our two Guest Bloggers for the month of February.

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Samantha Greenberg.  She introduces herself as follows:  “I am from Miami, Florida. Out of high school, I left Miami and moved to Buffalo, New York where I attended Canisius College. Moving to Buffalo, I had never seen snow before, and the two years I attended Canisius College were the two worst winters Buffalo had had in years. After my sophomore year, I transferred to the University of Miami, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sports Administration. During my time in undergraduate studies, I had many opportunities to work in the sports field, ranging from interning at a sports agency, to even being a college mascot. I chose to come to Marquette University Law School because of their prestigious National Sports Law Institute, and I hope to take the knowledge I learn and apply it towards the real world in a career in sports law.”

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Lucas Bennewitz.  He is a 2015 Marquette University Law School graduate. Mr. Bennewitz works as an Assistant District Attorney for the Racine County District Attorney’s office and has focused his entire career on litigation since being admitted to the Bar. While at Marquette, Mr. Bennewitz was involved in Moot Court, and the Student Bar Association, and was an editor for the Intellectual Property Law Review.

We look forward to your posts!

Welcome to Our January Guest Bloggers

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On this cold Winter’s Day, let’s give a warm welcome to our Guest Bloggers for January.

Our Alumni Blogger for the month is  Pamela M. Heinrich.  Pam serves as General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs to NAFA, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, a national trade association representing the fixed annuity industry.  In addition, she is the Outside Claims Manager for Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

Pam is a 1981 graduate of Ripon College (B.A., English) and a 2008 graduate of Marquette University Law School, summa cum laude.  During law school, Pam served as an associate editor of the Marquette Law Review and as student editor of the Federation of Defense & Corporation Counsel Quarterly.  She also completed internships with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Criminal Appeals Unit.  Prior to joining NAFA, Pam was an associate attorney at Quarles & Brady, practicing in the firm’s Product Liability litigation group.

Pam has been married to Tom for 33 years and together they have three grown children (and a son-in-law!) and a Siberian Husky, named Juno.  Pam enjoys cooking and entertaining (often!), yoga, and sailing.

Our Student Blogger for the month is K.C. Parker.  K.C. is a current 1L who attended a military academy instead of from a high school.  By the age of seventeen he was in the military, and on his way overseas.  After military service, K.C. became a certified law enforcement officer in Wisconsin.  He received his B.S. at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay in Democracy and Justice Studies, and Economics.  K.C. is currently involved in the Veterans Association and the Business Law Association at Marquette Law School, and has assisted veterans as part of the Estate Planning Clinic.

We look forward to your posts!

Foxconn Deal Tips the Scales of Justice

Posted on Categories Business Regulation, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Corporate Law, Public, Wisconsin Law & Legal System, Wisconsin Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Foxconn Deal Tips the Scales of Justice

Photo of the front of the building that houses the U.S. Supreme Court, with an inscription above th doorway that reads "equal justice under the law."

The following opinion piece appears in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Our system of justice rests upon two pillars: equal treatment and independent judgment.  Every person who appears before our state courts expects to be treated equally to every other litigant.  In addition, every party to a lawsuit expects to have his case heard by a judge who is free to exercise their own independent judgment.  Recently, the state legislature in Madison and Governor Walker approved legislation – a $3 billion package luring Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen TV factory in Racine County — that seriously undermines these two fundamental principles.

The principle of equal treatment commands that the same rules should apply to all parties appearing before the court.  No one should receive special status.  It is true that the two sides in a case might not be evenly matched, and that one might have more financial resources or a more skilled legal team.  But, even then, both parties in the case should be subject to the same set of laws and procedures, and have the same opportunity to argue that the law supports their claim.

The Foxconn legislation creates special treatment for Foxconn whenever that corporation is sued in Wisconsin courts.  The law forces the Wisconsin Supreme Court to directly take appeals involving “Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zones” (EITM) from the circuit courts. By law there is only one such zone, and that zone is home to Foxconn. Typically, the high court would hear appeals at their discretion, and then only after the case was heard by an intermediate court.  The reason for placing cases involving Foxconn on a “fast-track” to the Wisconsin Supreme Court should be obvious.  That Court currently boasts a majority of Justices who were elected with the financial support of Wisconsin’s largest trade and manufacturing lobbyists.  The drafters of the legislation expect these Justices to be sympathetic to the concerns of manufacturers like Foxconn.

We expect our state court judges to be free to exercise their independent judgment when deciding the merits of a case.  It is the trial judge that hears the facts and the evidence, and who determines the appropriate remedy should the plaintiff prevail.  It is not the state legislature’s job to decide which party in a case should win, or what remedy should be imposed in an individual case. Continue reading “Foxconn Deal Tips the Scales of Justice”

Our Guest Bloggers for November

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There is frost on the pumpkin, so it must be time to welcome our guest bloggers for the month of November.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Stacy Alexejun.  Stacy is a litigation attorney in the Madison office of Quarles & Brady LLP.  She focuses her practice on product liability defense and intellectual property litigation, with an emphasis in trademark, trade secret, copyright, and unfair competition matters.  Before joining Quarles, Stacy clerked for three terms for Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  She is a 2009 graduate of Marquette University Law School and has a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin.  She and her husband Brad have a 20-month-old daughter, Lucille.

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Samantha Feak.  Samantha is originally from Sagola, Michigan.  She attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and graduated with a degree in international politics and U.S. foreign relations.  She served as a Summer Law Fellow at the Milwaukee Justice Center and has been active in both the American Association for Justice and the Wisconsin Association for Justice.

Welcome and we look forward to your posts!