The State of the Union address is not just an annual ritual—it is a requirement. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union.” That the speech is, today, more rhetorical than informative does not mean it… Continue reading Keeping the President in Check, One Congressional Hearing at a Time
We wrote recently, in Just Security, about December’s bipartisan Senate vote and resolution to withdraw U.S. military assistance from Yemen and to assign responsibility for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—legislative moves contrary to the policy wishes of the Trump administration. The Senate’s actions suggested three developments in… Continue reading Checking Trump, One Foreign Policy at a Time
Those who are interested in national security law and military justice should take note that the most significant changes to the U.S. military justice system in almost 70 years will soon go into effect. We have not seen change on this scale since the adoption of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in 1951.… Continue reading The Evolution of Military Justice Continues
More than a few commentators have noted the U.S. Supreme Court’s effort in Trump v. Hawaii, the travel ban case, to put to rest any lingering doubt about the validity of one of the nation’s most notorious judicial precedents, Korematsu v. United States. In that World War II-era case, the Court upheld the government-mandated internment… Continue reading Putting Korematsu to Rest, Not a Moment Too Soon
By: Lawrence M. Friedman Professor Eric Posner recently explained a dilemma the federal courts face in the wake of President Trump’s election: how to check unconstitutional excesses while, at the same time, respecting the deference afforded “the president on national-security matters” in light of the president’s ability to act “on the basis of classified information,” coupled with the “need to move quickly.” That deference turns on a level of trust of the executive that courts, as exemplified by the unanimous decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in State of Washington v. Trump, may not hold. Posner warns of the possibility that the president, faced with many such decisions, might defy the courts. This raises the question whether the possibility of defiance, in itself, justifies adhering to the traditional deference the courts accord national security decision-making.