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Ben Wittes Offers his Initial Thoughts on Judge Pauley’s Opinion in ACLU v. Clapper

Over at Lawfare, Ben Wittes notes, in part:
On the merits, I agree with Judge Pauley that—at the lower court level, at least—there is just no way around the fact that Smith v. Maryland controls the metadata question under the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court may want to revisit this question, but there no way for lower courts to do it. Judge Pauley …

Breaking: Federal District Judge Pauley Finds NSA Bulk Metadata Collection Constitutional

In contrast to Judge Richard Leon’s opinion issued last week in Klayman v. Obama, Federal District Judge William Pauley ruled today in ACLU v. Clapper that the NSA Bulk Telephony Metadata Collection program does not violate the Fourth or First Amendments to the Constitution. Drawing upon the Supreme Court’s decision in Smith v. Maryland, Judge Pauley held that that persons …

Constitute: A New Website on Comparative Constitutions


Check out, Constitute, a new website on the world’s constitutions. It is an amazing, searchable database. As the website explains:
Constitute allows you to interact with the world’s constitutions in a few different ways.

Quickly find relevant passages. The Comparative Constitutions Project has tagged passages of each constitution with a topic — e.g., “right to privacy” or “equality regardless of gender” — so you can …

Bill Clinton on the President’s Constitutional Authority to Enforce International Law

On Fareed Zakaria this morning, former President Bill Clinton discussed the authority of the president to use force without Congressional authorization. In response to a question, Clinton indicated that the president did not need to get Congressional authorization because Syria had violated international law by using chemical weapons.
This strikes me as a remarkable claim: that the President can use military …

Complete Text: Alberto Mora discussing torture and cruel and inhuman treatment of detainees in Georgetown’s William V. O’Brien Lecture in International Law and Morality



APRIL 30, 2013

My sincere thanks to Georgetown University for having conferred on me the distinction of being asked to present today the William O’Brien Lecture in International Law and Morality. I also wish to thank my friends, Mark Lagon and Tony Arend, for their support of …

Breaking News: Supreme Court rules there is a presumption against the extraterritorial applicability of the Alien Tort Statute

The Supreme Court issued its Opinion in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum this morning. Chief Justice Roberts writing the Opinion of the Court:
We therefore conclude that the presumption against extraterritoriality applies to claims under the ATS, and that nothing in the statute rebuts that presumption.
.  .  .
On these facts, all the relevant conduct took place outside the United States. …

In appreciation of McDougal and Lasswell: A Response to Bainbridge and Manne

My dear friend (of over forty years!) and former fellow board member of the Virginia Journal of International Law, Steve Bainbridge, posts:

When I took International Law at Virginia, it turned out to be a course not about law but about the legal methodology of Myres McDougal. I hated it. No, I mean I hated it. Incomprehensible mumbo jumbo. So imagine …

Kenneth Anderson’s Discussion of Judicial Oversight of Drones

Over at Lawfare my friend Kenneth Anderson comments on my earlier post on judicial oversight of drones:

Georgetown professor Anthony Clark Arend – old friend to many of us at Lawfare – has a new short post on whether judicial oversight of drones would be a good idea – or constitutional.  He is skeptical on both counts (this can be added …

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Welcome! Who am I?

Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.