Separation of Powers Clinic

The C. Boyden Gray Center, under the direction of Co-Directors Professor Jennifer L. Mascott and scholar Adam White, have established the Separation of Powers Clinic for students at the Scalia Law School of George Mason University.

Trent McCotter will serve as Director of Clinical and Academic Programs at the Gray Center as well as director of the clinic, which will operate under the supervision of Professor Mascott, who teaches substantive courses in constitutional law, separation of powers, federal courts, and administrative law at the law school.

The clinic will provide practical instruction to students studying separation of powers issues within the federal government as well as structural constitutional principles that apply to the division of authority between the federal and state governments. Students will also have the opportunity to closely participate in practical projects related to the study of constitutional questions that forms the backbone of the Gray Center’s mission to foster significant legal scholarship examining the role of administrative agencies and the division of power within the three branches of federal government. Students participating in the clinic course will gain practical legal experience by identifying cases of interest, researching legal issues, and helping to prepare drafts of appellate briefs. The Center has previously worked with Scalia Law School students primarily through its student fellowship program and looks forward to providing this new opportunity for student legal training.

In December 2021, the clinic submitted its inaugural filing, an amicus curiae brief in Egbert v. Boule, which is scheduled for argument before the Supreme Court of the United States on March 2, 2022; the petitioner in the case is represented by the Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation practice group of Williams & Connolly.

Trent McCotter Director of the Separation of Powers Clinic

Trent McCotter is the Director of the Separation of Powers Clinic and the Director of Clinical and Academic Programs. He is also a partner with Boyden Gray & Associates. He previously served as Deputy Associate Attorney General of the United States, where he oversaw DOJ’s Civil Appellate and Federal Programs branches, and he also spent three years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He has authored and submitted nearly 50 briefs at the Supreme Court and has personally argued ten federal appeals. He clerked for the Hon. Steven J. Menashi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Hon. R. Lanier Anderson III on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Trent graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a degree in economics, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Jennifer Mascott Co-Executive Director

Jennifer Mascott is Co-Executive Director of the Gray Center and an Assistant Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School. Professor Mascott writes in the areas of administrative and constitutional law and the separation of powers. Her scholarship has been cited by the Supreme Court and has been published in the Stanford Law Review and a number of other journals. She is a former law clerk to Justice Thomas and to then-Judge Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit, and testified in the Senate in support of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Professor Mascott recently took leave from her academic position to serve as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Department of Justice as well as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. She also previously held the positions of Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and Vice Chair of the Judicial Review and Supreme Court Committee within the ABA’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Professor Mascott formerly served as the Faculty Director of the Antonin Scalia Law School’s Supreme Court and Administrative Law clinics and as an Olin/Searle Fellow affiliated with the Georgetown University Law Center. Professor Mascott graduated from the George Washington University Law School, where she earned the highest cumulative graduating GPA on record at the school. She became the Center’s Co-Executive Director in 2021.

Clinic Briefs

Steven Donziger v. United States of America

Amicus curiae brief filed on November 16, 2022

Lindsey Graham v. Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury

Amicus curiae brief filed on October 27, 2022

Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury v. Lindsey Graham

Amicus curiae brief filed on October 12, 2022

Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury v. Lindsey Graham

Amicus curiae brief filed on September 22, 2022

Federal Trade Commission v. Walmart Inc.

Amicus curiae brief filed on September 6, 2022

Calcutt v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Amicus curiae brief filed on August 1, 2022

Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission

Amicus curiae brief filed on May 16, 2022

United States v. Crittenden

en banc Fifth Circuit brief filed on May 10, 2022

Nordlicht v. United States

Amicus curiae brief filed on May 4, 2022

Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety

Amicus curiae brief filed on March 9, 2022

George v. McDonough

Amicus curiae brief filed on March 7, 2022

Egbert v. Boule

Amicus curiae brief filed on December 27, 2021