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Are state governors subject to the same separation of powers restrictions as the federal president?

Expanding on a Regulatory Transparency Project panel discussion on emergency executive power during the pandemic, this event featured experts engaging in a broader separation of powers discussion about the distinctions between the federal and state separation of powers doctrines, using California as an example.

In a conversation moderated by Braden Boucek, David. A. Carrillo, Luke A. Wake, and John C. Yoo explored those distinctions, examined how they affect the latitude and options state and federal executives have, and debated the extent to which federal separation of powers doctrines can or should be applied to the states through judicial interpretation.


  • David A. Carrillo, Lecturer in Residence and Executive Director, California Constitution Center, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Luke A. Wake, Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
  • John C. Yoo, Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law; Co-Faculty Director, Korea Law Center; and Director, Public Law & Policy Program, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • [Moderator] Braden Boucek, Director of Litigation, Southeastern Legal Foundation

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.