The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Garrett Hinck
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 9:32 AM

Jack Goldsmith analyzed the precedents for a legal justification for a strike on North Korea in opinions from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.

Bob Bauer argued that the impeachment process should be viewed more as a safeguard on the modern presidency than as a constitutional crisis.

Benjamin Wittes discussed his friendly lawsuit against the FBI for documents about communications to FBI employees about the firing of Director James Comey.

Matthew Kahn announced Lawfare and Foreign Policy’s live event,Prosecuting and Defending the Trump Presidency.”

Harry Litman and Mark Greenberg examined the memos submitted by President Trump’s legal team that addressed potential obstruction of charges against the president.

Vanessa Sauter posted the Lawfare Podcast, featuring Barbara Slavin’s interview with Benjamin Wittes about investigations into the president:

Goldsmith highlighted his essay in The Atlantic on harms Donald Trump is inflicting on the presidency.

Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes criticized White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for abusing the White House press podium to make unfounded accusations that Comey had committed a crime in sharing a memo documenting a conversation with the president.

Wittes posted the “Boris and Natasha Buy a Facebook Ad” Edition of Rational Security:

Peter Margulies first flagged and then discussed the Supreme Court’s stay on part of the Ninth Circuit’s order last week in the case against President Trump’s revised "travel ban."

Joshua Geltzer argued that opponents of Joe Arpaio’s pardon should be appointed as amicus by the court considering his conviction. Andrew Crespo published his response to a letter sent to him from one of Arpaio’s attorneys after he supported a challenge to the pardon.

Hennessey and Wittes shared their piece from Lawfare's Foreign Policy feed, which evaluated the administration's disaster response efforts. 

Sarah Tate Chambers and Stephanie Zable summarized legal documents released from the litigation regarding the government's request to DreamHost for 1.3 million site visit records. 

Merritt Baer and Chinmayi Sharma analyzed Equifax’s possible legal obligations to the victims of the massive hack of its consumer credit records.

Kahn flagged Judge Cooper’s latest opinion in United States v. Abu Khatallah. Sarah Grant summarized the ruling.

Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck posted the latest episode of the National Security Law Podcast, in which they considered the array of petitions before the Supreme Court on military courts:

They also posted a special episode, featuring an interview with NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell and a conversation about the 702 collection authority:

Chesney outlined the legal options for the detention and prosecution of the American citizen captured in Syria fighting for the Islamic State.

Peter Swire summarized his testimony before the Irish High Court on oversight of U.S. surveillance law.

Stewart Baker posted The Cyberlaw Podcast, which featured a debate about “upstream” collection under the FISA Amendments Act’s Section 702:

Kahn flagged Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’s letter to Congress on Section 702 reauthorization.

David Hoffman and Riccardo Masucci urged the Trump administration to nominate three more board members and fill out the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

J. Dana Stuster posted the Middle East Ticker, covering the Iran nuclear deal, the rapidly shrinking Islamic State, and latest developments in the Qatar-Gulf States Crisis. Itamar Rabinovich analyzed the likely changes to the balance of power in Syria as the civil war winds down. Shane Reeves and Ward Narramore argued that the U.N. Commission of Inquiry misapplied the law of armed conflict in concluding that a U.S. airstrike in March against a village in Syria sheltering Al Qaeda militants was illegal.

James Davis suggested that the endowment effect may be key to understanding the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Sauter summarized the Senate’s vote to table Senator Paul’s amendment to the 2018 NDAA  repealing the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs.

Alex Wagner and Richard Eisenberg argued that the Trump administration’s order on transgender military service members misrepresents the military’s past policies on the matter.

In this week's Water Wars, Sarah Grant outlined the latest developments in the South China Sea, including worsening relations between China and Vietnam, more U.S. FONOPs scheduled, and a legal victory for the Permanent Court of Arbitration. 

Samuel Moyn reviewed Anthea Roberts’s new book, Is International Law International?

In the Foreign Policy Essay, Eric Rosand defended Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs and argued that the U.S. has a lot to learn from Australia’s and Canada’s programs.

And that was the week that was.