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David Fontana
David Fontana is an Associate Professor of Law at George Washington University School of Law in Washington, D.C. Before coming to GW, he clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and went to law school at Yale and graduate school at Oxford. He has authored or co-authored papers on constitutional or comparative constitutional law that have been published by leading scholarly journals in law, including the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and Columbia Law Review, among others. Professor Fontana also writes about constitutional issues for a number of general interest publications, including most frequently The New Republic, and has consulted with Congress, presidential campaigns, and foreign constitution-drafters on issues of constitutional law. He can be reached at

Entries by David Fontana

The Places America Forgot

(37) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 10:21 AM

We live in an increasingly unequal America, and one that is increasingly unequal across locales. The median income peaked in more than 80 percent of America's counties fifteen years ago, while a metropolitan area like New York City has 370,000 millionaires (using net worth as the measure). It...

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Americans Are Not Isolationists

(22) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 1:26 PM

The war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has just started, and it is too soon to know whether it will result in the victory that the world so desperately needs. But one verdict from the conflict is already in, and has larger ramifications: we now know...

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Liberals Can Wear Robes: What A Recent Confirmation Tells Us

(9) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 5:09 PM

One of the prevailing narratives in American politics for some time has been that liberal judges are politically toxic. The landmark decisions issued by the Supreme Court during the Warren and early Burger Courts--from Brown v. Board of Education to Roe v. Wade--generated political heat that scared supporters of these...

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The Big Money Politics Problem We Need to Talk About

(10) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 8:55 AM

We live in an era of massive inequality in America, one that many call our second Gilded Age. This inequality manifests itself in all facets of our public life, including in our political system. One feature of this political inequality that has not received sufficient attention, though, is geographical. We...

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The North Country Difference

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2014 | 5:13 PM

These are polarized times in our country, and it seems like Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on anything anymore. Congress is passing laws at its slowest rate in more than half a century. If you head several hundred miles north from Washington to the 21st congressional district in...

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The Neglected District

(1) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 9:51 AM

It has been a banner month for congressional retirements, with the departures of powerful Democrats George Miller from California and Jim Moran from Virginia dominating the news. Lost in the news, though, was the departure of Democratic Representative Bill Owens from the 21st congressional district in upstate New...

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The Return of the Jewish Athlete

(6) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 8:07 AM

In the classic 1980 comedy movie Airplane, a restless airplane passenger turns to the stewardess to ask if she has something light to read. The stewardess answers that she does have a short leaflet titled "Famous Jewish Sports Legends." Thirty-three years later, that stewardess might have to offer the passenger...

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Another Arab Spring Moment That Matters

(9) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 9:11 AM

The past month has featured plenty of massive headlines in major American newspapers about the tragic events in Egypt. The largest and most consequential Arab Spring country has featured its share of turmoil since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, and the American media has provided these...

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The Washington Lawyer Nominee

(1) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 8:26 AM

Wednesday was the confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for President Barack Obama's latest nominee to the D.C. Circuit, Sri Srinivasan. Central casting could not have created a better person for President Obama to nominate than Srinivasan. It has been widely reported by now that Srinivasan has...

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When Morality Left the Gay Marriage Debate

(564) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 10:24 AM

The national headlines last week were dominated by the two days of oral arguments in the Supreme Court dedicated to the constitutional status of gay marriage. How the Court will decide these cases is difficult to predict. But it is not too soon to draw another conclusion: the...

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Gay Marriage Without the Robes

(192) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 9:43 AM

What a difference a few hours in Washington -- and at the Supreme Court -- can make this week. On Tuesday morning -- the morning of the first day of oral arguments before the Court about the constitutional issues related to gay marriage -- there was plenty of discussion about...

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The Laboratory of Judicial Nominations

(18) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 12:27 PM

Last week was a depressing week for those who want the Senate to confirm more of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees. Precisely because there had been several months of progress, the successful filibuster last week by the Republicans of President Obama's nomination of Caitlin Halligan to a seat...

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Judging the Senate

(13) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 2:27 PM

President Barack Obama is having a very hard time getting his judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate. As of a few weeks ago, 43 of his judicial nominees are awaiting a vote either in the Senate Judiciary Committee or on the floor of the Senate. Only 75 percent of Obama's...

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Judging Obama's Second Term

(13) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 2:41 PM

Who will still be implementing the landmark legislation of President Barack Obama's first term decades from now? It won't be Obama himself, or likely even his presidential successors, who will have new legislative issues to address. It will be federal judges, many of whom Obama can appoint and the Senate...

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