Tuan Samahon

Professor of Law


Tuan Samahon teaches and writes in the areas of federal courts and constitutional law. His articles on federal separation-of-powers doctrine, which focus especially on the powers to appoint and remove, have been published in the Stanford Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, Hastings Law Journal, William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, the University of Chicago Legal Forum, the Nevada Law Journal, among others and forthcoming articles.

Beyond his scholarship, Tuan is engaged in interpreting and fashioning federal constitutional law. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, subcommittee on the Constitution, on Appointments Clause issues in the context of executive branch policy czars. Late last year, as pro bono counsel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he briefed and argued Kuretski v. Commissioner, a U.S. Tax Court case that (collaterally) challenged the constitutionality of the President's statutory authority to remove officers exercising the judicial power of the United States. Tuan and his students also filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court in NLRB v. Noel Canning, a challenge to the President's January 2012 "recess appointments" during a time when the Senate was in pro forma session. 

In addition to representing others, Tuan is also a plaintiff in two federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases, in which he seeks wrongly withheld executive branch documents important to properly understanding American legal history. Recently, in Samahon v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. District Court ruled against the FBI and granted Professor Samahon summary judgment on his FOIA claims and access to the historical documents.

Tuan received his B.A. from Brigham Young University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Olin Law and Economics Research Fellow and was co-awarded the Olin Prize in Law and Economics. Prior to entering teaching, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson on the Eastern District of Virginia and for U.S. Circuit Judge Jay Bybee on the Ninth Circuit. He also practiced in the Washington, D.C. office of Covington & Burling. In 2007, he was named Professor of the Year by his students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. At Villanova, Tuan teaches Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Constitutional Law I and II, Advanced Separation of Powers, and Comparative Immigration Law.

Practice Experience

  • Judicial Clerk for U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson on the Eastern District of Virginia 
  • Judicial Clerk for U.S. Circuit Judge Jay Bybee on the Ninth Circuit
  • Associate, Covington & Burling (Washington, DC)
  • Joined the faculty in 2009
Professor Tuan Samahon

Office: Rm 338, Law School Building
Phone: 610-519-7088


Courses and Seminars

  • Advanced Separation of Powers Seminar
  • Constitutional Law I
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Federal Courts


Georgetown University Law Center, JD

Brigham Young University, BA