Jack Goldsmith

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Jack Goldsmith is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard University. From 2003 to 2004, he served as the assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel; from 2002 to 2003 he served as the special counsel to the general counsel of the Department of Defense. Goldsmith also taught at the University of Chicago Law School from 1997 to 2002 and at the University of Virginia Law School from 1994 to 1997.

In his academic work, Goldsmith has written widely on issues related to national security law, presidential power, international law, and Internet regulation. His books include Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency after 9/11 (2012), The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment inside the Bush Administration (2009), Who Controls the Internet: Illusions of a Borderless World (with Tim Wu) (2006), and The Limits of International Law (with Eric Posner) (2005). He blogs on national security matters at the Lawfare blog,and on issues of labor law and policy at the On Labor blog.

Goldsmith is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds a JD from Yale Law School, a BA and an MA from Oxford University, and a BA from Washington & Lee University. He clerked for Supreme Court justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Court of Appeals judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, and Judge George Aldrich on the Iran-US Claims Tribunal.

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Recent Commentary

Cybersecurity
Blogs

DNI’s 2015 Worldwide Threat Assessment

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, February 27, 2015

I highly recommend that Lawfare readers peruse the annual the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, as well as DNI Clapper’s opening statement before the SASC yesterday.  I read both quickly (though I did not watch the hearing).  Both seem less watered-down than usual.

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org
Blogs

The Tricky Issue Of Severing US “Control” Over ICANN

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I have written an essay for Hoover’s The Briefing series entitled The Tricky Issue of Severing US “Control” Over ICANN.  Tomorrow the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee will have an important hearing on this subject.

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org
Complexities of CybersecurityFeatured Commentary

The Tricky Issue Of Severing US “Control” Over ICANN

by Jack Goldsmithvia The Briefing
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One consequence of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks was the Obama administration’s decision last year to give up power over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  ICANN controls domain names on a global basis, and has nothing to do with NSA surveillance.

Blogs

Six Questions Congress Should Ask The Administration About Its ISIL AUMF

by Jack Goldsmith, Ryan Goodman, Steve Vladeck via Lawfare
Friday, February 20, 2015

With congressional hearings on the Obama Administration’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the Islamic State on the horizon, we propose six questions that Members of Congress should ask Administration witnesses

Blogs

Risen, Holder, and Journalists’ Sensitivity to Accountability

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, February 19, 2015

I largely agree with Ben’s critique of James Risen’s sharp twitter criticisms of Attorney General Holder, but want to add (or reiterate) several points

Blogs

The New York Times Public Editor Backs James Risen’s “Truth-Telling”

by Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, February 19, 2015

Soon after Jack posted this piece on James Risen’s attacks on Eric Holder, which Ben had criticized earlier, the New York Times’s Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, wrote a post in support of Risen’s tweets.

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Blogs

Errors And Misconceptions About The Obama Draft AUMF

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, February 16, 2015

Much of the discussion in recent days about the Obama draft AUMF for ISIL contains mistakes and misconceptions, at least as I see matters.

The White House
Blogs

The Administration’s Hard-To-Fathom Draft AUMF

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Before I get to analysis and criticism, let me give the Obama administration credit for proposing a draft AUMF yesterday.  The administration’s many promises about working with Congress to craft an AUMF for the Islamic State (ISIL), combined with the lack of a concrete proposal that has long been the President’s responsibility, had led me to doubt that it really wanted one.

Blogs

More On Administration’s Draft AUMF

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Some follow-ups to my earlier post on the administration’s ISIL-specific AUMF:

Blogs

Great Harvard National Security Journal Issue

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, February 9, 2015

The Harvard National Security Journal just published an unusually good issue that will be of interest to many Lawfare readers.

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