David Luban is a University Professor in Law and Philosophy at Georgetown and Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership, United States Naval Academy. He is currently writing a study of the moral and legal philosophy of Hannah Arendt. (August 2020)
Closing the Courthouse Door: How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable
by Erwin Chemerinsky
Erwin Chemerinsky is one of the country’s most distinguished legal scholars—the founding dean of the University of California–Irvine School of Law, the author of several books, and a frequent commentator on the Supreme Court who is able to explain legal complexities clearly. His subject in Closing the Courthouse Door is a dozen legal doctrines that make it difficult or impossible to vindicate our constitutional rights through the judicial system. A few were created by Congress, but mostly they are the work of the Supreme Court, which in his view goes to great lengths to stop Americans from getting their day in court.
A recent cover story in The Economist warns that free speech is under attack in much of the world, through government repression, assassinations of journalists by nonstate actors, and the rising insistence by minority groups that they have a right not to be offended.1 China’s Great Firewall polices websites …
Charlie Savage’s Power Wars is a long and comprehensive book, covering in intricate detail nearly every major issue in Obama’s national security policy: detainees, military commissions, torture, surveillance, secrecy, targeted killings, and war powers. Its behind-the-scenes story will likely stand as the definitive record of Obama’s approach to law and national security.
War by Other Means: An Insider's Account of the War on Terror
by John Yoo
In the new kind of war, where no enemy commander has the authority to surrender, the war ends only when we say it is over. Yoo reassures us that “there is no reason to believe it will go on for a generation.” There is equally no reason to believe it will go on for less, and the potential internment of enemy combatants for decades on end differs only in name from what Yoo denies it is: indefinite imprisonment.9
The atrocities committed by all sides in the increasingly violent Syrian civil war cry out for some form of international accountability. The “Caesar” photos, released in late January, up the stakes dramatically by providing remarkably specific evidence of mass murder and torture by agents of the Syrian government.