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

Analysis and Commentary

Where Is The Biden Administration On Presidential Reform?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Candidate Joe Biden presented himself as committed to reforming the presidency. But President Joe Biden and his administration have so far secured no accomplishments to match this commitment, and it is not clear what steps they have taken to fulfill it. In one respect, this is understandable. The administration has many more pressing short-term priorities, and most reforms would bite the Biden administration in the first instance. 

Featured

Emergency Powers Reform Within Grasp

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The National Emergencies Act (NEA) was one of the great failures of the 1970s reforms to the presidency. The NEA sought to discipline the dozens of presidential emergency power authorizations in the U.S. Code by empowering Congress to terminate emergency declarations by concurrent resolution. But the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the legislative veto in INS v. Chadha (1983) turned this NEA check on its head.

Co-Author: Bob Bauer

Analysis and Commentary

Jack Goldsmith On The Lawfare Podcast: America, China And The Tragedy Of Great-power Politics

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia The Lawfare Podcast
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith talks with John Mearsheimer about his recent article in Foreign Affairs, called “The Inevitable Rivalry: America, China, and the Tragedy of Great-Power Politics.”

Featured

The Way Forward On Congressional Subpoena Reform

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The House of Representatives will soon vote on the Protecting Our Democracy Act (PODA), a bill that includes many vital reforms of the presidency. A proposal in the bill to speed up judicial review and enforcement of congressional subpoenas against recalcitrant executive branch officials has been a sticking point between Congress and the Biden administration. 

Co-Author: Bob Bauer

Interviews

Jack Goldsmith & Bob Bauer: Restoring The Presidency

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia The Bulwark Podcast
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses restoring the presidency.

Interviews

The Lawfare Podcast: Bob Bauer And Jack Goldsmith On Reforming The Presidency

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia The Lawfare Podcast
Friday, October 8, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses reforming the presidency.

Interviews

Jack Goldsmith and Ben Wittes On Lawfare Origins And 9/11

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, September 13, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith talks about the origins of Lawfare, it's intimate connection to 9/11 and its aftermath, and the importance of analyzing these issues at the intersection of national security, law and policy.

Analysis and Commentary

September 11 And The History Of Lawfare

by Jack Goldsmith, Robert Chesney, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Saturday, September 11, 2021

When we launched Lawfare eleven years and ten days ago, we pledged to devote what we then called the “blog” to “that nebulous zone in which actions taken or contemplated to protect the nation interact with the nation's laws and legal institutions.” It was two years into the Obama administration, and our main focus at the time was on the legal and policy issues that had continued to arise in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Interviews

Bonus: Jack Goldsmith - Now More Than Ever

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia Now More Than Ever
Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith talks about his life growing up as the son of a mafia-connected Teamster official who is surveilled, harassed and harangued by various three letter agencies with an interest in solving the Hoffa riddle (no pun intended).

Featured

A Strange Defense Of The Biden Moratorium Extension Mess

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Biden administration’s handling of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium extension was widely viewed to be lawless and a blow to the administration’s rule-of-law credibility. Commentators on the right had a field day with it. But it was not just the right that saw things this way. 

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