Everything you say can and will be used against you.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Response to Neal Goldfarb

Mr Neal Goldfarb, apparently a linguist and Deans Visiting Scholar with the Georgetown University Law Center, reached out to me on Twitter. What he had to say was spirited & interesting. You can see the full Twitter exchange here: <https://twitter.com/NealGoldfarb/status/1113863868038754304>. Neal’s chief complaint was that, in my court filings in the Emoluments Clauses cases against the President, I denominated the relevant constitutional provisions: the Foreign Emoluments Clause and Presidential Emoluments Clause, as opposed to the Foreign Emolument Clause and Presidential Emolument Clause

On Friday, April 5, 2019, I sent him a response by e-mail. See below. I have yet to hear back from him. But hope springs eternal.



Dear Neal,

Thank you for reaching out to me via Twitter. New friends are always welcomed—however late they are to join the debate. I have given your paper a once over. I don’t see any citations to my publications or to my co-authored publications with [Professor] Blackman, so I continue to wonder why you tweeted to me and Blackman, but not to [all the] other amici and parties—who all used the nomenclature adopted by plaintiffs in their complaints. It is a real puzzle!

If you could find your way to cite my publications, then I will be in a better position to respond. I write a great many responsive pieces: this academic year alone, I have had one article responding to Professor Yoo, a second article responding to Professor Fallon, and a third responding to Chief Judge Eckerstrom. I must give priority in relation to the people who actually cite me, as opposed to other people who just contact me informally by e-mail or by Twitter. I am sure you can understand that. If you still seek a response from me, particularly in the near term, I suggest you cite my publications and/or [amicus] filings in your paper in and around your footnotes 50 & 51—where you suggest the “emoluments” nomenclature is “near-universal.” [Goldfarb: <https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3333512>] You can find my briefs and other [judicial] filings here: <http://reformclub.blogspot.com/2018/02/a-work-in-progress-select-bibliography.html>. You can find my publications here: <https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/results.cfm?RequestTimeout=50000000>.

I will also need some clarification from you in regard to a single point you make several times in your paper. You wrote: “[T]he lawsuits [are] against President Trump alleging that because of certain of his business interests he is in violation of the Constitution’s Foreign Emolument Clause and Presidential Emolument Clause.” (p.5) (emphasis added), <https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3333512>. Again, you wrote: “These two clauses are of course the subject of pending litigation against President Trump.” (p.19) (emphasis added). You make this claim in several other places in your paper. Can you identify for me who or what you mean by “President Trump”—What are you intending?; What is your meaning?; What you are trying to communicate?; and, How you think the reader will understand your writing here?, etc. I assure you, although you might think my question odd, it is not. It is meant seriously, and I intend to quote your answer in my future Response to Neal Goldfarb. My question is not “grammatical wonkery” or “academic wonkery.” I cannot turn to my future Response to Neal Goldfarb until you respond. So let me hear from you, particularly in the near term if you want to facilitate a response from me in the near future.

Best wishes & welcome to the debate,


Seth Barrett Tillman, Response to Neal Goldfarb, New Reform Club (Apr. 8, 2019, 1:07 PM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2019/04/response-to-neal-goldfarb.html>. 

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