Antonin Scalia’s 2007 remarks about national-security issues in the Ford administration

In my 2007 book, “Takeover,” I included a quote from a speech by Justice Antonin Scalia about his time as a senior Justice Department official in the Ford administration and during the Church Committee investigation. (Scalia was then the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.) I recently had a chance to listen …

The Buried History of Fort Wayne and Culture War

Over the course of about 15 months in 2019-20, I developed a special side project: a deep look at a political and culture-war fight that broke out in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, last year, over creating a new honor for the town’s namesake, who conquered the Native American tribes in the Midwest and …

Read the 1986 Justice Department Report for Ed Meese “Separation of Powers: Legislative-Executive Relations”

A few days ago, I wrote a piece analyzing Attorney General Bill Barr’s Federalist Society speech on his maximalist view of executive power, which I, argued, had more to do with Ronald Reagan’s 1980s than George Washington’s 1780s. I included a cautionary quotation from an internal 1986 Justice Department manifesto on separation of powers issues …

A Victory Against Secret Law: Appeals Court De-Censors Its Ruling in Doe v. Mattis (the U.S. citizen enemy combatant case)

Today, in a victory against secret law, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has unsealed and re-issued a significant ruling it issued in May 2018 in the case of Doe v. Mattis, regarding an American citizen who was held without trial in American military custody for over a year as a suspected …

The NYT Is Surveying 2020 Presidential Primary Candidates About Their Views on Executive Power

On Friday, I emailed numerous presidential primary campaigns an invitation to participate in a New York Times survey project on executive power. Our intent is to publish the full answers of each participating candidate, alongside notations indicating which others were unwilling or unable to answer the questions. We gave the campaigns a one-month deadline of …

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board releases PPD-28 surveillance report in response to my FOIA

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request I submitted in the spring of 2017, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has declassified and made public a partly redacted version of its December 2016 (ish) Top Secret report on the implementation of President Obama’s PPD-28, the presidential policy directive he issued in …

“Vice” – A Cheney Biopic [updated 4/7/19]

Check out Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in this trailer for “Vice” that dropped today. This movie looks fantastic. Chapters two and three of my first book, Takeover, were essentially an intellectual history of Cheney – why he had the views on executive power that he did, based on his previous life experiences – leading …