United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Douglas McKechnie

Professor of Law

Department of Law

Contact Information

(719) 661-8748

Email

LinkedIn

Bio

Professor McKechnie is an award winning teacher and scholar who focuses on constitutional law and theory. He has appeared in local, national, and international media outlets discussing legal issues in the news. His scholarship, which explores the intersection between civil liberties and technology, has been featured in USA Today and cited in federal district and appellate court decisions.

Before joining the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Professor McKechnie taught First Amendment law and Civil Procedure at the Appalachian School of Law. Prior to beginning his academic career, Professor McKechnie practiced law in Pittsburgh, Pa, where he primarily litigated labor law and free speech issues.

Education

Juris Doctor (cum laude), University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pa. (2002)

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (summa cum laude), Ohio University, Athens, Ohio (1998)

Professional Experience

Professor, Department of Law, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado

Associate Professor, Department of Law, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado (2014-2019)

Associate Professor, Department of Law, Appalachian School of Law, Virginia (2012-2014)

Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Appalachian School of Law, Virginia (2008-2012)

Honors & Awards

Dean of Faculty Research Grant, U.S. Air Force Academy: Comparative Constitutional Law research at the University of Warmia and Mazury, Poland (2023)

Fulbright Specialist – Slovak Republic (2023)

Superintendent’s Faculty Performance Award (2019)

Fulbright Scholar Award – Slovak Republic (2019)

Dean of Faculty Research Grant, U.S. Air Force Academy: Comparative Constitutional Law research at the Vilnius University Faculty of Law, Lithuania (2017)

Faculty Fellow, Aspen Institute Wye Faculty Seminar (2017)

U.S. Air Force Academy Dean’s Team Award (2017)

Dean of Faculty Research Grant, U.S. Air Force Academy: Comparative Constitutional Law research at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Law, Croatia (2016)

U.S. Air Force Academy’s Outstanding Academy Educator Award (2016)

Selected for Fulbright Specialist Roster – U.S. Constitutional Law and Theory (2014)

Selection for Fulbright Scholar Award (2014)

Appalachian School of Law Faculty Scholarship Award (2012)

Research and Scholarly Interests

Professor McKechnie focuses his scholarship on constitutional law and civil liberties. Much of his recent work explores the intersection of presidential power and free speech from doctrinal, theoretical, and comparative perspectives.

Publications

Originalism’s Time Machine: A Resurrected Relationship to the State, 11 LMU Law Review 1 (2023)

Defaming the President, 49 Mitchell Hamline L. Rev. 535 (2023)

The Unhealthy Necessity of Constitutional Court Independence, Ústavný Systém Slovenska Počas Krízových Situácií: Možnosti, Limity a Riešenia (The Constitutional System of Slovakia During Crisis Situations: Possibilities, Limits and Solutions), edited by Marián Giba (Wolters Kluwer 2022)

Learning the Limits of the Pardon Power from Others, 125 Penn St. L. Rev. Penn Statim 24 (2021)

National Security Law (with Eric Merriam, West Academic, 2020).

Government Tweets, Government Speech: The First Amendment Implications of Government Trolling, 44 Seattle Univ. Law Rev. 69 (2020)

From Secret White House Recordings to @realDonaldTrump: The Democratic Value of Presidential Tweets, 40 Campbell L. Rev. 611 (2018)

@POTUS: Rethinking Presidential Immunity in the Time of Twitter, 72 U. Miami L. Rev. 1 (2017) (lead article)

Academic Freedom in the “Guarded” Institution (coauthored with Eric Merriam), 14 First Amend. L. Rev. 313 (2016)

Anonymity and Anonymizers, in PRIVACY RIGHTS IN THE DIGITAL AGE (Christopher Anglim ed. 2016)

Glenn Greenwald, in PRIVACY RIGHTS IN THE DIGITAL AGE (Christopher Anglim ed. 2016)

The Official Secrets Act, in PRIVACY RIGHTS IN THE DIGITAL AGE (Christopher Anglim ed. 2016)

Social Networking Technologies, in PRIVACY RIGHTS IN THE DIGITAL AGE (Christopher Anglim ed. 2016)

Whistleblowers, in PRIVACY RIGHTS IN THE DIGITAL AGE (Christopher Anglim ed. 2016)

Obergefell’s Prescription: Why the Fourteenth Amendment Trumps State Employees' Free Exercise Claims, 7 ConLawNow 21 (2015)

Speed Dating Peer Reviews, 21 Law Teacher 47 (2014)

The Fourth Circuit's Hocus-Pocus First Amendment Analysis of Sign Regulations, 14 App. J.L. 189 (2014)

Facebook is Off-Limits? Criminalizing Bidirectional Communication via the Internet is Prior Restraint 2.0, 46 Ind. L. Rev. 643 (2013)

The Death of the Public Figure Doctrine: How the Internet and the Westboro Baptist Church Spawned a Killer, 64 Hastings L.J. 469 (2013)

Don’t Daze, Phase or Lase Me Bro! Fourth Amendment Excessive Force Claims, Future Non-lethal Weapons, and Why Requiring an Injury Cannot Withstand a Constitutional or Practical Challenge, 60 U. Kan. L. Rev. 139 (2011)