An excerpt from Katherine Shaw’s Speech, Intent, and the President, Cornell Law Review, Vol. 104, Forthcoming:
The novel rhetorical habits and strategies of President Donald Trump have already thrust questions of presidential intent into the spotlight in high-stakes ongoing litigation, including over the President’s “travel ban” orders. Courts evaluating the lawfulness of those orders have wrestled with what weight to accord the President’s statements, both from the campaign and following inauguration, with no real guiding principles regarding the significance of presidential statements, their relationship to presidential intent, or the relevance of intent in challenges to presidential action. These cases — and a number of others ongoing at the time of this writing — highlight the absence of any coherent conceptual framework for assessing both presidential speech and presidential intent. This Article attempts to fill that gap.