Jack Goldsmith

Senior Fellow

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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary


Foreign Relations Law Casebook Supplement

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, July 2, 2015

Here is the summer 2015 supplement for my casebook (with Curtis Bradley), Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (5th ed. 2014).

Escape From Gitmo

by Jane Harman, Jack Goldsmithvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

The legal path out of our long Guantánamo nightmare.


Why The Weak And Hesitant Response To The OPM Breach?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Saturday, June 13, 2015

The NYT reports that the Obama administration is “considering financial sanctions against the attackers [from China] who gained access to the files of millions of federal workers” in from Office of Personnel Management computers.

Featured Commentary

Lawfare And The IDF Lawyers

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Willy Stern has a very interesting essay at the Weekly Standard about “Dabla,” the Israeli Defense Force’s elite operational lawyers.


New Issue Of Harvard National Security Journal

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Harvard National Security Journal’s spring issue, published last week, may be of interest to readers of Lawfare.

Supreme Court

Zivotofsky’s Vindication (And The New York Times’ Approval) Of Signing Statements

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It was a little dizzying this morning to read the NYT editorial board's full-throated endorsement of the Court’s decision in Zivotofsky.


Why Zivotofsky Is A Significant Victory For The Executive Branch

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, June 8, 2015

The Supreme Court in Zivotofksy held that the President can disregard a statute that requires him to designate “Israel” on passports of U.S. citizens born in Israel because the statute infringes on the President’s exclusive power to recognize foreign sovereigns.


Welcome To The New Lawfare

by Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Sunday, June 7, 2015

It is a great pleasure to welcome readers to Lawfare’s new web site. 


Daniel Meltzer, R.I.P.

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dan was an important scholar of federal courts and criminal law and procedure. Perhaps less well known, he was also—based on his experiences as Deputy White House Counsel in the Obama administration, and then on the Intelligence Oversight Board—a hugely insightful analyst of national security law and policy.   Numerous people in the Obama administration described Dan’s counsel on these matters as invaluable.


Cyberwar, Surveillance And Security MOOC

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, May 21, 2015

The University of Adelaide has a free new MOOC called Cyberwar, Surveillance and Security that is taught by Melissa de Zwart, Dale Stephens, and Rebecca LaForgia.   The web page and registration can be found here. And here is a teaser introduction to the MOOC, which contains brief statements from some of the experts who participate, including Mike Schmitt, Renn Gade, Jonathan Zittrain, Ben Wizner, Bruce Schneier, and yours truly.  It looks like a great introduction to the topic.