Mensch tracht, un Gott lacht

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Why Does Google Do This?

I actively hunt for citations to my publications (broadly construed—counting citations to my blog posts, etc). I frequently search on “Seth Barrett Tillman” and a list of items will be returned. I have noticed that if I search on “Seth Barrett Tillman” AND “string”, I will get a second list. I would have thought that by using an “AND”, the second list would be a subset of the first list. But it is not. The second list will sometimes contain items not in the first list, even though “Seth Barrett Tillman” is in the search query for both lists. Why isn’t the second list a subset of the first list?

This leaves me wondering if there are other citations out there that I have not discovered because I don’t know what string to use as a second string. Is there some way to tell Google to find all “Seth Barrett Tillman” items without regard to a well-chosen second string and thereby uncover all “hidden” citations?

For example, if you search on
“seth barrett tillman” AND “McCutcheon v. Federal”
you will see that the last returned item is:› ...

But if you just search on “seth barrett tillman”,
you don’t get that item. It is a bona fide citation in a Japanese law journal. Why does Google do this?


Seth Barrett Tillman, Why Does Google Do This?, New Reform Club (Oct. 30, 2019, 7:23 AM), <>. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Why the DOJ Acts for the Defendant in the Emoluments Clauses Cases

October 6, 2019

The Washington Post
Letter to the Editor

Re: David A. Fahrenthold, Ann E. Marimow & Robert Barnes, Justice Department helps Trump fight financial probes, The Washington Post, Oct. 5, 2019, Sect. A, page 5.

Dear Letters Editor,

Your October 6, 2019 article took the position that “federal [government] lawyers have defended” Trump in the three Emoluments Clauses cases. That’s not quite right.

In two of these lawsuits, plaintiffs chose to sue the President exclusively in his official capacity, not in his individual capacity. Such an official-capacity only lawsuit is, in reality, a lawsuit against the government of the United States. In other words, in both of these lawsuits, the President is only a nominal defendant. Where, as here, the government is the actual defendant, Department of Justice attorneys act for the government-defendant. In these two lawsuits, President Trump’s personal attorneys cannot defend the President—for the simple reason that Donald J. Trump, the individual, is not being sued. It is that simple.

In the third lawsuit, plaintiffs initially sued the President exclusively in his official capacity, but later they amended their complaint to also sue the President in his individual capacity. Subsequently, plaintiffs sought to unilaterally and voluntarily dismiss their individual-capacity claim against the President. The President’s personal attorney objected to any such dismissal: he wanted his day in court.

Plaintiffs would much rather litigate against the DOJ—an organization which is wholly unconcerned with the President’s personal and political reputation—a reputation which takes a pounding each and every time the DOJ loses a motion, trial, or appeal even though President is not really the defendant and has no personal day-to-day control over the DOJ and the government-defendant’s legal strategy (as he would have if he were the actual defendant).

Seth Barrett Tillman, Lecturer
Maynooth University Department of Law, Ireland

Tillman, a U.S. national, has filed multiple amicus briefs in the course of the three Emoluments Clauses cases. 

Seth Barrett Tillman, Why the DOJ Acts for the Defendant in the Emoluments Clauses Cases, New Reform Club (Oct. 9, 2019, 4:36 PM), <>.