An engaged scholar and award-winning teacher, Julian Davis Mortenson specializes in constitutional and international law. His current book project—under contract with Harvard University Press—develops a comprehensive account of presidential power at the American founding. He is also co-author of Foundation Press’s new casebook in 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 as lead appellate counsel for the Arab-American Civil Rights League’s challenge to the Muslim ban; 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, Prof. 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 Judge 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. Prof. Mortenson was salutatorian of his class at Stanford Law School and received an AB in history, summa cum laude, from Harvard College.