Trevor Morrison

Trevor Morrison is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and the Faculty Co-Chair of the Hertog Program on Law and National Security at Columbia Law School. He teaches and writes about constitutional law, federal courts, and national security law. A former law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court, he served in the Justice Department's Office of the Solicitor General and Office of Legal Counsel before entering academia. More recently, for 2009 he served in the White House Counsel's Office as Associate Counsel to the President.

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Targeted Killing

The White Paper and Due Process

The problems that Rick recently identified with how both the DOJ White Paper and its critics treat the concept of "imminence"  --- specifically, that they are borrowing a concept generated in a domestic law context that depends on a set of institutions and structures that don’t exist in the international sphere, without acknowledging the problems with doing so --- parallels an issue in the White Paper's discussion of due process.  I think the issue has gone largely overlooked on the due process side.  I want to lay it out here.    


Letter in Support of Brennan Nomination

I'm pleased to report that a group of former Obama Administration lawyers (including yours truly) has just submitted to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence a letter expressing our strong support for John Brennan's nomination to be Director of the CIA. 

As the letter states, in his current capacity as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John "has demonstrated seasoned wisdom and judgment in responding to our nation’s greatest national security threats, and he has consistently reaffirmed his core commitment to conducting our national security and count


One Further Thought on CT Continuities and Discontinuities

I appreciate Jack's follow-up post on the larger picture of the Obama administration's counterterrorism policies and their points of continuity with the Bush administration (though only the late Bush, as he properly underscores).  Jack and I agree on much more than we disagree on, including that evaluations of the Obama policies in this area depend in large part on people's baseline expectations.


A Bad Argument Against Rep. Smith's Amendment to the NDAA

As Bobby noted previously, Rep. Adam Smith and others are proposing amendments to this year's NDAA that would make certain changes to the detention-related provisions implemented by last year's NDAA.  Among other things, the Smith Amendment would effectively prohibit the military detention of anyone arrested or captured within the United States.

Executive Power

A Fair Question

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent poses an interesting question:  If elected, does Mitt Romney intend to revoke President Obama's January 22, 2009 executive order on interrogation?

The order largely restricts U.S. interrogators to the techniques authorized by the Army Field Manual.