Jen Patja Howell

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Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier, and has been a freelance editor for 15 years. Jen has her B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia.

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Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: An Islamic State Jailbreak

Late last week and early this week saw fighting between Islamic State fighters and Syrian democratic forces after the Islamic State attempted a jailbreak of a Kurdish prison containing significant numbers of alleged Islamic State fighters. The makeshift jail housed Syrians, Iraqis, and also alleged fighters from Western Europe and North Africa. It's the most significant jailbreak since ISIS’s territorial defeat—and a major national security story that's gone under the radar.

Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: Defunding the Insurrectionists

As we’ve discussed on the show, online advertisements are the shifting, unstable sand on which the contemporary internet is built. And one of the many, many ways in which the online ad ecosystem is confusing and opaque involves how advertisers can find their ads popping up alongside content they’d rather not be associated with—and, all too often, not having any idea how that happened.

Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: Oona Hathaway and Secrecy’s End

What if we declared an end to the costly system of how we classify national security information in the United States? Oona Hathaway, the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, poses this question in her article “Secrecy’s End.” Stephanie Pell talked with Oona about some of our classification system’s most corrosive effects on our democratic system of governance and some proposals she has for reforming it.

Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: Ned Foley on Electoral Count Act Reform

As the prospect of broader election reform has grown more remote, bipartisan discussions have increasingly come to center on one long standing law: the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Designed to regulate the process through which Congress counts electoral votes, ambiguities in this antiquated law have been a frequent source of anxiety, most recently in the wake of the 2020 election, when many feared outgoing President Trump would successfully capitalize on them to prevent the certification of his loss. To discuss the Electoral Count Act and its potential reform, Scott R.

Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: Trump’s Documents, the Jan. 6 Committee and the Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case Trump v. Thompson, denying Donald Trump's motion to block the National Archives from producing his documents to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. To drill down, Natalie Orpett talked with Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson and Professor Jonathan Shaub of the University of Kentucky College of Law.