Peter J. Smith

Peter J. Smith
Arthur Selwyn Miller Research Professor
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Peter Smith is an expert in constitutional law. His articles have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, and the Duke Law Journal, among others. He is also the author, with Professor Gregory Maggs, of a casebook on constitutional law. Professor Smith teaches Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. In 2010 and 2016, he received the Distinguished Faculty Service Award for outstanding teaching.

Before joining the faculty at GW Law, Professor Smith was an Attorney in the Civil Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he represented the government in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. At DOJ, he defended the constitutionality of a number of federal statutes, including the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Food and Drug Modernization Act, in cases that ultimately were resolved by the Supreme Court.

Professor Smith received his BA from Yale and his JD from Harvard Law School, where he received the Sears Prize for highest academic performance. Professor Smith clerked for Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Curriculum Vitae     Publications


BA, Yale University; JD, Harvard University

In the News

"Can You Impeach a President After Their Term Is Over?"

January 21, 2021

Peter J. Smith is quoted in Reader's Digest about the definition of impeachment and what the Constitution says about the process.

"Viral Tweet Distorts Facts on Consequences of Impeachment"

January 12, 2021

Peter J. Smith is quoted in about the accuracy of a viral message on the legal consequences of a second Trump impeachment.

"Verify: No, the Fifth Amendment Can't be Used to Opt-Out of the Census"

August 24, 2020

Peter J. Smith is quoted by WUSA9 about a viral video claiming the Fifth Amendment can be used to get out of completing the census.

"An Impeachment Trial Recap"

February 06, 2020

Jeffrey Rosen moderates a discussion on Trump's impeachment with Andrew F. Knaggs and Peter J. Smith for the We the People podcast.

“Matt Whitaker’s Appointment is Already at Risk of Throwing the American Legal System into Chaos”

November 14, 2018
Peter J. Smith is quoted by Vice News about why Maryland doesn't have the standing to make a claim against Whitaker's appointment.