Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018
President Trump's Guantánamo "policy" is best understood as an extension of his anti-Muslim bigotry, wrote Nimra Azmi and Sirine Shebaya at Take Care. The terrorist watchlist statistics from last week's DOJ and DHS exaggerate the threat of terrorism, argued Harsha Panduranga at Just Security. The Pentagon's new National Defense Strategy contains notable omissions related to climate change and the use of special operations forces.
Guantánamo and President Trump’s Anti-Muslim Animus
By Nimra Azmi and Sirine Shebaya: Trump's position on Guantánamo perfectly aligns with his habitual rejection of the idea that Muslims accused of terrorism are entitled to any constitutional protections
Donald Trump's New Intelligence Slush Fund
The continuing resolution that was signed by President Trump contains a provision that permits his intelligence agencies to spend billions of dollars on anything they want, without having to inform Congress about what they are doing. This seems like a bad idea.
Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018
In a series of tweets, President Trump wavers between opposition and support of FISA reauthorization. On the 16th anniversary of the prison’s founding, Guantanamo Bay prisoners file mass habeas petition.
Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017
The Trump Administration unveiled its new National Security Strategy. A majority of the United Nations General Assembly voted to rebuke America's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the U.S. Embassy.
Update | The Week of November 27, 2017
Congress is considering a significant expansion of the NSA's surveillance power. President Trump responded to North Korea's testing of a new intercontinental ballistic missile.
Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017
State Department officials accused Secretary of State Tillerson of several rules violations regarding child soldiers. Multiple sources are contemplating ways to constrain the President's ability to use nuclear weapons.
Versus Trump: Borderline Searches + Response To First Mondays
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss a new lawsuit that forces courts to answer the question of whether the federal government needs a warrant to search people's electronic devices at the U.S. border, and they also respond to a discussion on the Supreme Court podcast First Mondays regarding the government's recent filing in the Hargan v. Garza abortion case. Listen now!
Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017
Reports continued to trickle out regarding the ambush of a Special Forces team in Niger. The ambush prompted commentary on the President's legal authority for military operations overseas.
No Peeking? Korematsu and Judicial Credulity
The Supreme Court's decision in the Japanese Internment Cases offers a chilling reminder of why courts cannot close their eyes to clear evidence of bigotry in executive orders supposedly justified by security concerns.
Cruise Missiles More Dangerous Than the "Nuclear Option"
If Congress does nothing now to further delineate the scope of presidential authority to deploy military force, it will effectively be forfeiting, now and forever, its constitutional authority to check presidential moves short of all-out state-to-state war.
International Human Rights Law in the Trump Era
The Trump Administration’s actions thus far are not just an attack on human rights norms. And they’re not merely a rejection of international law. They’re also an assault on our national security and foreign policy.
The President’s Dilemma
An emergency appeal on the Muslim Ban may be both rational and his worst outcome.
Trump and North Korea: Where's Congress?
Guest poster Eric Segall argues that Congress must act now to ensure that the President does not unilaterally commit an act of war without Congressional consent.
Why Trump's Travel Ban Statements Compel a Finding of Improper Purpose
Trump's statements about the revised travel ban overwhelmingly evidence a purpose at odds with the Establishment Clause. And few, if any, of those statements evince actual, substantive national security or foreign affairs objectives that explain the bizarre scope of his order.
Ten Questions for a New FBI Director
By Allison Murphy: Given President Trump’s documented and acknowledged efforts to interfere with the independence of the FBI, the Senate should presume that could continue under a new FBI Director. It is therefore incumbent upon Senators to ensure that any Trump nominee for FBI Director commits to certain baseline aspects of independence and impartiality before any new nominee is confirmed. Here are 10 questions that require answers.
Motive Matters in Assessing the Travel Ban
To the extent that Trump’s statements about the travel ban shed light on why the executive orders were issued—and they surely do—those statements are material to the constitutional analysis.
The World Is Not Made Brand New Every Morning
Judge Kozinski thinks that we cannot account for President Trump's campaign statements in the Muslim Ban cases. That is wrong. Courts can, and should, reckon with this history in assessing whether Trump's ban comports with religious neutrality.
Trump’s Approach to Crime & Punishment
The president has continued existing policies, but also signaled a misplaced (and dangerous) reliance on immigration enforcement and incarceration to protect the public.
Faith in the Ninth Circuit
An analysis of Judge Bybee's dissent from denial of rehearing en banc in Washington v. Trump, and some predictions about the future of President Trump's revised entry ban.
Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017
Tensions with North Korea escalated this week, prompting North Korea's foreign minister to claim that the U.S. had declared war and that a strike against the U.S. mainland was "inevitable." Foreign leaders warned President Trump of the consequences of violating the Iran nuclear agreement.
Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017
The Administration continues to treat national security as "security theater" with a stunning "indifference to facts, accountability, and democratic oversight," argue critics.
Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017
President Trump's national security team was "blindsided" by his failure to reaffirm NATO Article 5, and commentators argue that President Trump's reaction to the London attacks portend his reaction to future attacks.
Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017
This week, commentary focused on U.S. military action against Syria. Joshua Matz and Marty Lederman both considered the legal reasoning for the strikes on Take Care.
Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017
Secretary of State Tillerson indicated that the United States is not seeking regime change in North Korea. Commentary continued on the future of the Iran nuclear deal. The United States issued sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017
President Trump's harsh rhetoric may be a gift to terrorist organizations abroad. While some intelligence agencies seek to dial back surveillance, it will likely only grow if Congress authorizes more options for the use of military force.
Updates | The Week of October 16
Prison guards at Guantanamo Bay seized court-approved, non-networked computers and hard drives issued to the accused 9/11 attack plotters to prepare for their death-penalty trials; coverage of military proceedings at Guantanamo has increased following the denial of cert in the case of Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) threatened to subpoena Trump administration officials for information on the attack in Niger that killed four U.S. service members.
Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017
President Trump signed an executive order on cybersecurity. The Department of Homeland Security will ban laptops and other large electronic devices in the cabin on flights from Europe.
Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017
The President's understaffed national security team aims to change import policies in the name of safety. Local law enforcement communities should instead be a focus in the fight against ISIS.
Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017
This past week, America and Britain barred personal electronic devices on flights from several Muslim-majority countries. Ivanka Trump's proposed role within the White House may also pose a national security threat.
Updates | The Week of August 28, 2017
Trump's pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio sets off a firestorm; another battle over Trump's immigration ban is heard by the Ninth Circuit; and investigators and journalists turn up more evidence of Trump's business dealings with Russia.
Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defends proposed cuts to his department, arguing it should focus on a narrower conception of security.
Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017
The administration continued its hunt for a new FBI director, as it struggles to fill key posts across the executive branch. A certiorari petition at the Supreme Court asked it to resolve a long-running dispute over the jurisdictional scope of the Guantanamo military commissions. Meanwhile, the administration decided against a proposed ban on laptops on flights to the United States from Europe.
Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017
The Trump administration announced plans for the expansion of the US military presence in Afghanistan, and concerns about rising tensions between the US and North Korea continued.
Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017
The Trump Administration moved to restrict agencies from using products from a Russian cybersecurity firm due to hacking concerns. Commentary continued on President Trump's nominee for FBI Director, Christopher Wray.
Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017
This week, President Trump ordered a military strike on a Syrian air base in response to a deadly chemical weapon attack attributed to Bashar al-Assad's government. President Trump also shook up the National Security Council, including removing Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon from the NSC principals committee.
Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017
Democrats in Congress have been stepping up claims that Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election constituted an act of war. Further, President Trump has proposed cuts to the State Department while stepping up airstrikes abroad.
Updates | The Week of October 30, 2017
The Trump administration considered sending the suspect in a New York City terrorist attack to Guantanamo Bay. The Senate and administration officials discussed a new Authorization for Use of Military Force.
The Story Thus Far: National Security
From Guantanamo Bay to wiretapping to foreign intrigue, these have been a busy two months for the Trump Administration. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.
Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017
The State Department continues to restructure cybersecurity policy. Post-Charlottesville, the Trump Administration must also take domestic terrorism seriously.
Updates | The Week of August 7, 2017
President Trump threatened "fire and fury" against North Korea in response to reports that the country has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead. Transgender service members are challenging the administration's transgender service ban.
Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017
The White House is preparing to loosen regulations on targets of drone strikes and commando raids outside of conventional battlefields. Robert Chesney outlines the detention and prosecution options available for enemy combatants who are U.S. citizens. A DOJ proposal would allow foreign governments to request data directly from U.S. communications providers.