Category: Uncategorized

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 […]

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 […]

Congress is Litigating at a Historically Unprecedented Rate, as the Aberrational Trump Era Accelerates a Polarization-Driven Trend

It was once rare for Congress to go to court. But the number of cases House Democrats are now litigating is historically unprecedented — a Trump-era aberration that is accelerating a larger shift in governance whose seeds predate Trump. w/ @npfandos The House v. Trump: Stymied Lawmakers Increasingly Battle in the Courts It’s routine, of […]

The Gotcha Takes on Barr’s Census Question Comments Are Off, But Something Else Is Dubious

I think some gotcha takes are missing the mark re Barr’s comments about the “hysterical” media insinuating that the Trump admin was thinking about adding the citizenship question to the Census by executive fiat. There is something here worth scrutinizing, but it’s different. /1 People are citing Barr saying Monday, after being asked about an […]

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 […]

Remembering Robert Pear

My colleague Robert Pear died last night following a stroke. I would like to share a few memories and anecdotes about what it was like to work near and with him for the past 11 years. /1 Robert Pear, Authoritative Times Reporter on Health Care, Dies at 69 Robert had a very unusual personality. Despite […]

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 […]