Michael Knapp

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Michael Knapp is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was an Articles Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Prior to law school he was an officer in the Marine Corps and deployed once to Afghanistan. He graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Government (International Relations).

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War Powers

The Obama WPR Letters, 2009-2015

President Obama has sent 39 letters to Congress “consistent with” the War Powers Resolution requirements. The letters are a fascinating read and provide a 30,000-foot view of the Administration’s use of military force abroad. The complete letters are linked below, but here is a brief analysis:

A Wider Battlefield

The reports reflect what appears to be a much wider battlefield today than in 2009.


Backgrounder on Second Circuit En Banc Rehearing on Data Retention

The explosion of digital data may have thrust us into a Golden Age of Surveillance, as individuals now create (and preserve) data that encompasses more activities and extends further into the past than ever before. But to search effectively through the ever-expanding haystacks, law enforcement has had to adopt new techniques.

Fourth Amendment

Second Circuit Grants Rehearing in United States v. Ganias

Last summer, in United States v. Ganias, a Second Circuit panel held that the government violated the Fourth Amendment when, for two-and-a-half years, it retained digital copies of files that were outside the scope of an initial warrant and then used those files in a subsequent investigation. Applying the exclusionary rule, the Second Circuit panel vacated the defendant’s conviction.

Fourth Amendment

Obstacles Loom for States' Proposed "Fourth Amendment Protection" Laws

Legislators in several states have proposed bills over the past year intended to hamper the NSA’s efforts to collect signals intelligence.  In Utah, the site of a large NSA data center, a proposed bill would prevent the state, its cities, and its agencies from providing “material support or assistance in any form to any federal data collection and surveillance agency.”  The bill is plainly targeted at crippling the data center, which currently relies on a contract with a nearby city for its water supply.  The bill would allow the