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MSU College of Law



January 26, 2012

CONTACT: Kent Love

MSU Law Professor Kalt’s New Book Highlights Potential Presidential Controversies

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law Professor Brian C. Kalt has penned a new book, Constitutional Cliffhangers: A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies.

The book, published by Yale University Press and released on January 24, 2012, highlights weaknesses in the Constitution’s provisions for selecting, replacing, and punishing presidents. Kalt envisions six controversies, such as the prosecution of a president, a mutiny by the Cabinet against a disabled president, and a succession struggle between the Speaker of the House and the secretary of state. These dramatic scenarios lead into comprehensive analyses of the legal and political issues involved, and suggestions for preventing these episodes from occurring in the first place. More generally, the book considers how constitutional procedures can be constructed to better manage the complicated relationship between law and politics in American government.

The book has received high praise from scholars and laymen alike. “Constitutional Cliffhangers is full of insights into constitutional interpretation,” writes Robert W. Bennett, professor of law at Northwestern University. “The book is also playfully written, so that it is a delight to read.” New York Times best-selling novelist C.J. Box adds, “Kalt is an evil genius when it comes to conjuring up potential national political crises and clearly explaining the legal and constitutional ramifications even for non-lawyers like me. The What-If scenarios make your scalp twitch.”

Before joining the faculty at MSU Law, Kalt worked at the Washington D.C. office of Sidley and Austin. He earned his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, and served on the Yale Law Journal. Professor Kalt teaches Constitutional Law, Torts, and Administrative Law.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.

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