About Louis Fisher

Senior Visiting Fellow

Louis Fisher is Scholar in Residence at the Constitution Project. Previously he worked for four decades at the Library of Congress as Senior Specialist in Separation of Powers (Congressional Research Service, from 1970 to 2006) and Specialist in Constitutional Law (the Law Library, from 2006 to 2010. During his service with CRS he was research director of the House Iran-Contra Committee in 1987, writing major sections of the final report.

He received his doctorate in political science from the New School for Social Research (1967) and has taught at Queens College, Georgetown University, American University, Catholic University, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, the College of William and Mary law school, and the Catholic University law school.

Dr. Fisher has been invited to testify before Congress about 50 times on such issues as war powers, state secrets privilege, NSA surveillance, executive spending discretion, presidential reorganization authority, Congress and the Constitution, the legislative veto, the item veto, the Gramm-Rudman deficit control act, executive privilege, executive lobbying, CIA whistleblowing, covert spending, the pocket veto, recess appointments, the budget process, the balanced budget amendment, biennial budgeting, and presidential impoundment powers.

He has been active with CEELI (Central and East European Law Initiative) of the American Bar Association, traveling to Bulgaria, Albania, and Hungary to assist constitution-writers, participating in CEELI conferences in Washington, D.C. with delegations from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Romania, and Russia, serving on CEELI “working groups” on Armenia and Belarus, and assisting in constitutional amendments for the Kyrgyz Republic. As part of CRS delegations he traveled to Russia and Ukraine to assist on constitutional questions. For the International Bar Association he helped analyze the draft constitutions for Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Dr. Fisher’s specialties include constitutional law, war powers, budget policy, executive-legislative relations, and judicial-congressional relations. He is the author of more than 400 articles in law reviews, political science journals, encyclopedias, books, magazines, and newspapers. He has been invited to speak in Albania, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Oman, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Fisher has honored us by dedicating the ninth edition of American Constitutional Law to TCP, as follows:

“It is my pleasure to dedicate the book to The Constitution Project, which I have worked with over the past decade on a number of issues, including war powers and the state secrets privilege. Its expertise, analytical skills, and nonpartisan approach contribute to an informed and professional debate on key questions of constitutional law. Upon my retirement from government in late August 2010, I worked even more closely with The Constitution Project as scholar in residence and am proud to be among its supporters.”

Please visit the Louis Fisher Library to view books, articles, and congressional testimony by Dr. Fisher.