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Rule of Law

The Rule of Law Clinic focuses on maintaining and strengthening democratic institutions and values in society. In Spring 2022, the clinic will study issues related to the continuity of government at the federal and state levels. The pandemic and rising threats to government officials have emphasized the importance of this area.

Dean Emeritus John D. Feerick, who will co-teach the clinic, played a key role in framing the 25th Amendment, one of the Constitution’s continuity provisions. Student teams will develop memorandums and then brief stakeholders, including lawmakers, on three areas:

The Presidential Line of Succession: Many experts suggest that the line of succession can result in undemocratic outcomes, and some believe it is unconstitutional.

Continuity of Congress: If many members of Congress died or became incapacitated, Congress might be left unable to function for an extended time and actions it might take could lack democratic legitimacy.

New York Governor Succession and Disability: Analysis of the 25th Amendment’s provisions and other states’ gubernatorial succession provisions might inform the creation of improved procedures in New York, including for replacing the lieutenant governor (the governor's unilateral replacement authority has been controversial in recent years).

 

Under the direction of former Dean John Feerick, Fordham has been in the forefront of improving the nation's procedures for handling constitutional issues, including presidential disabilities and vacancies and rule of law issues in the international arena.

 

 

 

Prof. John Rogan and Dean Feerick previously co-taught the Democracy Clinic and the Presidential Succession Clinic. The Succession Clinic outlined reform recommendations in a 2017 Fordham Law Review report.