The Separation of Powers, From Washington to Sacramento

Are state governors subject to the same separation of powers restrictions as the federal president?

Expanding on a Regulatory Transparency Project panel discussion on emergency executive power during the pandemic, this event featured experts engaging in a broader separation of powers discussion about the distinctions between the federal and state separation of powers doctrines, using California as an example.

In a conversation moderated by Braden Boucek, David. A. Carrillo, Luke A. Wake, and John C. Yoo explored those distinctions, examined how they affect the latitude and options state and federal executives have, and debated the extent to which federal separation of powers doctrines can or should be applied to the states through judicial interpretation.

David A. Carrillo

Lecturer in Residence and Executive Director, California Constitution Center

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Luke A. Wake


Pacific Legal Foundation

John C. Yoo

Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law; Co-Faculty Director, Korea Law Center; and Director, Public Law & Policy Program

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Braden Boucek

Director of Litigation

Southeastern Legal Foundation

State & Local

The Federalist Society and Regulatory Transparency Project take no position on particular legal or public policy matters. All expressions of opinion are those of the speaker(s). To join the debate, please email us at