Russell Spivak

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Russell Spivak is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has previously interned in the Office of the Chief Prosecutor in the Office of Military Commissions.

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Al-Alwi v. Trump: The Government Responds, Initial Hearing En Banc is Requested and Denied, and Amici Chime In

Guantanamo Bay detainee Moath Hamza Ahmed al-Alwi’s protracted legal battle has filled the pages of Lawfare for quite some time—see here, here, here, and here—and for good reason: Al-Alwi’s case presents delicate legal questions that touch on myriad themes in n

Military Justice

Doe v. Hagenbeck: The Second Circuit Speaks on Sexual Assault at West Point

Late last week, the Second Circuit issued a long-awaited opinion in Doe v. Hagenbeck. The case deals with myriad claims brought forward by a former West Point Cadet, Jane Doe, against Lt. Gen. Franklin Lee Hagenbeck and Brig. Gen. William E. Rapp, the superintendent and commandant of cadets, respectively, of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The claims stem from Jane Doe’s rape by an older male cadet, the school’s handling of the incident, and allegations of a sexually discriminatory atmosphere at the prestigious institution in upstate New York.

Case Coverage: Military Commissions

Last Week in Military Commissions

The military commissions were busy last week in the case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ammar al-Baluchi (referred to as Aziz Ali), and Mustafa Ahmad al Hawsawi, commonly known as the 9/11 Five. Over the past few months, Lawfare has worked with a new format, reviewing the entirety of the substantive issues addressed in the previous week’s open sessions. This week, only the hearings Monday and Thursday were open; the hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday involved classified material and were closed to the public.

Executive Power

What Is the Necessary Procedure to Turn the President's Transgender Tweets Into Military Orders?

Below is an excerpt from a piece that appeared on our Foreign Policy feed earlier today.

Last week, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce his intended reinstatement of a ban on openly transgender people serving in the U.S. armed forces:

Executive Branch

A Premature Primer: How Do Impeachment Proceedings Actually Work?

Two weeks ago, CNN reported that “White House lawyers have begun researching impeachment procedures in an effort to prepare for what officials still believe is a distant possibility that President Donald Trump could have to fend off attempts to remove him from office.” More broadly, the conversation has shifted from implying the possibility of impeachment to overtly discussing it: Senator Angus King (I-ME) for example