The Terror Government: Reconciling National Security Imperatives and the Rule of Law

Lawrence M. Friedman

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In this Review Essay, I examine Professor Natsu Taylor Saito’s prescription for reinvigorating the rule of law as a guiding principle in American domestic and foreign policy-making, as outlined in her book, From Chinese Exclusion to Guantánamo Bay: Plenary Power and the Prerogative State. Her response to the danger of the prerogative state is essentially democratic, and I suggest that any democratic effort must include a role for the judiciary. Indeed, those who support the rule of law may find some solace in U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning various aspects of the war on terrorism; those cases offer a means by which we may begin the process of reconciling the imperatives of national security with the importance of adherence to binding legal rules.
44 New Eng. L. Rev. On Remand 1 (2009)

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