Daniel Epps, former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, is associate professor of law.
Epps focuses on criminal law and criminal procedure – and his scholarly approach draws upon history, philosophy, political science and economics.
He is currently working on projects about the role of the jury, the Supreme Court’s case-selection process and the harmless-error doctrine.
In addition to his scholarship, Epps co-hosts a seasonal podcast about the Supreme Court with Ian Samuel, a former clerk for Justice Scalia who is currently a fellow at Harvard Law School. First Mondays is available on iTunes and also has a twitter feed that stays up to date on all things Supreme Court.
In the end, the best argument for eliminating qualified immunity is less about deterrence and more about symbolism. Qualified immunity routinely requires courts to say that there will be no penalty for a police officer who has violated the Constitution. That is the wrong message.
Some reforms are easier than others. Creating a defender general is an unusually simple one, with the potential to provide large benefits for millions of people, given that it involves establishing only an office with two dozen employees.
The United States needs a “Defender General” — a public official charged with representing the collective interests of criminal defendants before the Supreme Court of the United States, argues a new article co-authored by Daniel Epps, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.
During the July 30 Democratic presidential debate, candidate Pete Buttigieg renewed his calls to “depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform.” Buttigieg has endorsed a Supreme Court reform proposal offered by Daniel Epps, associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.
If Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, Republicans will have succeeded in a decades-long effort to take the courts in a more conservative direction. While they will surely celebrate this victory, the real loser in this partisan battle is not the other side — it’s the Supreme Court. And without radical reforms to save its legitimacy, the Court may never recover from its transformation into a nakedly partisan institution.