David Wells is an expert on constitutional law and comparative law. Over the course of his career he has provided legal advice on constitutional issues to private sector clients and all three branches of the U.S. federal government. In his current position, Mr. Wells leads executive branch analysis on complex constitutional issues impacting key foreign policy decisions. He regularly provides legal analysis to White House officials and senior State Department policymakers on U.S. economic sanctions, including analysis of the President's inherent foreign affairs powers under the Treaty Clause and its intersection with the legislative branch’s authority over interstate commerce. His duties have also included advising on pending legislation, and he has briefed members of Congress on federalism concerns and federal preemption issues created by draft bills. Mr. Wells also completed a detail in the Executive Office of the President, where he served as an attorney in the White House Counsel’s office.
Before joining the Office of the Legal Adviser, Mr. Wells was in the Supreme Court and Appellate practice group at Arnold & Porter. In that role, he advised clients on constitutional issues related to petitions for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Wells also worked with clients on appellate cases with constitutional issues before federal courts of appeals, including issues related to free speech (commercial speech), separation of powers, and federalism. In addition, he represented indigent clients in pro bono cases concerning illegal search and seizure issues arising under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Mr. Wells has also completed two prestigious federal clerkships. In his clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Mr. Wells performed extensive research concerning Commerce Clause jurisprudence and advised the judge in a number of significant appeals. Mr. Wells also completed a clerkship with a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, where his work involved advising on a number of Fourth Amendment search and seizure issues as well as performing extensive research on freedom of religion and Fifth Amendment issues related to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000
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