Mark W. Smith
Senior Fellow of Law and Public Policy; Presidential Scholar
Professor Mark W. Smith is a Presidential Scholar and a Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy at The King’s College. Professor Smith is also a Visiting Fellow in Pharmaceutical Public Policy and Law in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. He is a former adjunct professor of law at the University of Kansas School of Law, where he researched and taught a course on constitutional law, the Second Amendment, and related topics.
Professor Smith’s academic interests include:
- English and early-American legal history.
- The Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms.
- The appropriate role of text, history, and tradition in interpreting the Bill of Rights.
- The legitimacy of the “tiers of scrutiny” framework in American constitutional law.
- The potential role of David Hackett Fischer’s Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought as a potential methodology for solving debates about the proper application of America’s history to resolve complex questions of constitutional interpretation.
- The proper relationship between the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts in the hierarchical federal judiciary.
- The use of “lawfare” in the American legal system.
Professor Smith’s research at Oxford involves identifying legal landmines at scientific and medical departments at the world’s leading universities and scientific institutes. He seeks to develop best practices for scientists, researchers and medical professionals, and to combine relevant practical concerns with more theoretical legal and other considerations.
Professor Smith is a highly sought out public policy expert. Policy Experts: Insider Guide to Public Policy Experts and Organizations, and the Journalist’s Guide to Legal Policy Experts, list Professor Smith as a public policy expert on subjects touching on American constitutional law.
Professor Smith has lectured and presented widely at academic and scholarly conferences, and spoken at the Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Princeton University, Columbia Law School, NYU School of Law, and the Wharton Business School (MBA) at the University of Pennsylvania. He is regular speaker at the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention held each year in Washington, D.C.
Professor Smith is a New York Times bestselling author and a former editor of the New York University Environmental Law Journal and a former guest editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Professor Smith’s recent work has been published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, the Catholic University Law Review, the Texas Tech Law Review, the Pepperdine Law Review, the Arizona State University Corporate and Business Law Journal, the Oklahoma Law Review, the Seton Hall Legislative Journal, and elsewhere. Professor Smith’s article, “BIG DATA COMES FOR TEXTUALISM: THE USE AND ABUSE OF CORPUS LINGUISTICS IN SECOND AMENDMENT LITIGATION,” was recently listed on the Social Science Research Network’s (SSRN) Top Ten download list for the Legal Scholarship Network’s categories of Constitutional & Statutory Interpretation, Judicial Review, and Law & Rhetoric. The abstract of Professor Smith’s paper, which has been accepted for publication in the Drake Law Review, may be found here.
In addition to his research and writing efforts as a Senior Fellow, Professor Smith also serves as the Legal Academic Research Director of the Project on Criminal Justice Reform.
Professor Smith has been called “[a] powerhouse lawyer,” a “rising public intellectual,” and a “high-stakes, high-profile Wall Street litigator.” His victories in the courtroom have captured the cover of The New York Times and his legal work has been reported throughout the country. Professor Smith has appeared as an expert legal analyst on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg Television, CourtTV, the Fox News Channel, the Fox Business Channel, Newsmax, and MSNBC. He has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Free Beacon, Human Events, and the Washington Examiner. He has appeared on numerous national radio shows including the Ben Shapiro Show, the Lars Larson Show, the POTUS Channel (Sirius XM) and the Patriot Channel (Sirius XM).
Following his graduation from the New York University School of Law, Professor Smith served as a law clerk for the Honorable D. Brook Bartlett, a judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Upon the completion of his clerkship, he joined the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as an associate. He then moved to the firm of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP, where he was an equity partner. In 2007, he founded the firm of Smith Valliere PLLC, which had offices on Madison Avenue and at Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan. In 2015, Smith Valliere PLLC was named the Small Law Firm of the Year in New York City by SmartCEO Magazine.
Professor Smith is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. He has tried jury and bench trials in state and federal court. He has tried cases involving complex synthetic derivative financial products, real estate transactions, large corporate raiding efforts, partnership disputes and international commodity trades. As co-counsel in a federal jury trial, Professor Smith won a million-dollar judgment in a precedent-setting civil rights case that a cover story in The New York Times proclaimed to be the largest of its kind in New York history. He also tried the largest no-fault insurance trial in U.S. history for $23 million and represented New York businesses in a multi-billion-dollar challenge to New York’s participation in the “cap and trade” scheme called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Professor Smith represented Texas state legislators as amicus counsel before the United States Supreme Court, and represented African American women seeking to start hair braiding businesses in a highly publicized constitutional challenge to New York state’s economic regulations. He represented a former United States Ambassador to Venezuela in a major federal lawsuit involving racketeering claims arising from alleged foreign corruption.
Outside of the courtroom, Professor Smith is a sought-after advisor to companies and individuals seeking to avoid “legal landmines,” i.e., activities that might lead to costly disputes or legal liability. He has counselled clients engaged in a wide variety of commercial transactions and business dealings including companies conducting business internationally. He has also advised clients in connection with matters involving employment, commercial transactions, licensing, agency, assignment, intellectual property, film financing, publishing, settlements, and secured lending arrangements, and has counselled bestselling authors, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, bank trustees, bloggers, music organizations, attorneys, and celebrities.
First They Came for the Gun Owners. New York, New York (2019)
#Duped. New York, New York (2018)
Disrobed. New York, New York. Random House Crown Forum (2006)
The Official Handbook of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (2004)
2006 Midterm Edition: The Official Handbook of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
2008 Presidential Election: The Official Handbook of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
SELECTED ACADEMIC ARTICLES
Mark W. Smith, Dan M. Peterson, Big Data Comes for Textualism: The Use and Abuse of Corpus Linguistics in Second Amendment Litigation, SSRN-id3887060 (2021) (forthcoming Drake L. Rev. Spring 2022).
Mark W. Smith, Second-Class Rights and Second-Class Americans: Applying Carolene Products Footnote 4 and the Court’s Enforcement of Nationally Accepted Norms Against Local Outlier Jurisdictions in Second Amendment Enforcement Litigations, 70 Cath. U. L. Rev. 83 (2021).
Mark W. Smith, “Assault Weapon” Bans: Unconstitutional Laws for a Made-Up Category of Firearms, 43 Harv. J. of L. and Pub. Pol’y 357 (Spring 2020).
Mark W. Smith, Enlightenment Thinker Cesare Beccaria and His Influence on the Founders: Understanding the Meaning and Purpose of the Second Amendment’s Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 2020 Pepperdine L. Rev. 71 (2020).
Mark W. Smith, Violence in the Streets? Hardly. Even Under the “Tiers of Scrutiny” Approach to Judicial Review, State Actors Cannot Justify Restricting the Right to Carry Firearms Based on Contemporary Criminological Studies, 53 Texas Tech L. Rev., SSRN-id3545087 (2020).
Mark W. Smith, A Judicial Teaching Point: The Lesson of the Late Justice John Paul Stevens in Sony v. Universal City Studios as a Response to Civil Lawfare, 1 Arizona State Univ. Corporate and Business L. J. 71 (2020).
Mark W. Smith, Fischer’s Fallacies and Firearms in America: What Can David Hackett Fischer’s Historical Fallacies and Paradigms Teach Us About the Constitutional Text, History and Tradition? SSRN-id544522 (Aug. 2,2020).
Mark W. Smith, Civil Liberties in a Post- 9/11 World, Seton Hall. Legis. J. (2002).
Mark W. Smith, Caucus Reform? Primary Reform? Delegate Reform? Lessons from the 2016 Political Party Presidential Nominating Process: A 50-State Review of the Legal and Political Mechanisms Deployed by the Republican Party for Selecting Delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention, SSRN-id3540486 (2015).
Mark W. Smith, A Congressional Call to Arms, 49 Okla. L. Rev. 295 (1996).
Heller v. District of Columbia’s “Common Use” Test: How Does this Standard of Review Hold Up to the Modern American Gun Culture? SSRN-id3538052 (2018).
Mark W. Smith, Textualism, Originalism, Populism and the Most Fundamental Constitutional Right: Why the Supreme Court Should Invoke Constitutional Protections to Protect Local Minorities in the Second Amendment Context, SSRN-id3537756 (2019).
Time at King's: March 2016 to Present
New York University School of Law
University of South Carolina