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.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Jack Goldsmith On Why Fears Of A Trump Coup Are Nonsense

by Jack Goldsmithvia The Economist
Thursday, November 19, 2020

[Subscription Required] The president cannot block a transition of power to Biden, but he will cause enormous destruction along the way


Jack Goldsmith: Future Presidents Should Be Held More Accountable, 'After Trump' Author Says

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia WAMU 88.5
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses the future of the office of the presidency.
Analysis and Commentary

The Puzzle Of The GRU Indictment

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

It’s about two weeks before the 2020 presidential election. According to a bipartisan report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Russia engaged in “an aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.” And in the words of the FBI director, Russia is engaged in “very active efforts ... to influence our election in 2020.” 

UC Berkeley Law School COVID Conversations: Bob Bauer, Jack Goldsmith On Trump

interview with Jack Goldsmith
Friday, October 9, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses his new book he co-authored with Bob Bauer, After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency.


Jack Goldsmith: The President And The Coronavirus

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia The Lawfare Podcast
Monday, October 5, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses what happens when the president is seriously ill? What happens when the president is incapacitated? And what happens when a presidential candidate falls seriously ill—after people have already started voting?

Analysis and Commentary

How To Respond To The Trump Tax Disclosures

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, September 28, 2020

Since 2015, President Trump has defied the post-Watergate norm of tax disclosures by presidents and presidential candidates. Now, reporting from the New York Times on nearly two decades of Trump’s tax return data has given the public a glimpse of what Trump was trying to hide. The data make plain the dangers of presidents subverting public duty for private gain, and highlight the importance of the broader conflict of interest norms that Trump has also defied. 


Jack Goldsmith: Peaceful Transition?

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia Beg to Differ with Mona Charen
Friday, September 25, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses his new book After Trump.

Jack Goldsmith: Assessing The Rule Of Law And The Trump Presidency

interview with Jack Goldsmith
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses the rule of law during the Trump presidency.


Jack Goldsmith: The Lawfare Podcast: Goldsmith And Bauer On 'After Trump'

interview with Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, September 18, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses his new book as well as ethics, disclosure, the relationship between the Justice Department and the White House, and what problems can—and can't—be solved through reform.