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

The Watergate Road Map: What It Says And What It Suggests For Mueller

by Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

In neat script near the top of the document, someone has written, “Filed under seal, March 1, 1974.” Above that, red typed letters read, “Unsealed October 11, 2018 by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Order No. 11-mc-44 (BAH).

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A Sorry Bargain

by Jack Goldsmithvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

Weak from the start, the Iran nuclear deal was a fragile political commitment that left Congress out in the cold.

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Anthony Kennedy’s Principles

by Jack Goldsmithvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

The departure of the “swing justice” was significant indeed.

Analysis and Commentary

Jaworski Road Map To Be Mostly Unsealed

by Stephen Bates, Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, October 15, 2018

One month ago, the three of us filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for the release of the so-called “Watergate Road Map”—one of the last great still-secret Watergate documents. Last week, Chief Judge Beryl Howell, acting in a separate case, ordered the document’s release. The move, as Josh Gerstein notes in this Politico story, appears to have been prompted by our petition, on which we have been represented by the folks at Protect Democracy. 

Featured

Quick Notes On The Rosenstein Revelations

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, September 21, 2018

There is a lot to chew over in the blockbuster New York Times story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s erratic behavior in his first few weeks on the job, just after President Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey on May 9, 2017.

The future of the GOP with Richard Nixon
Featured

The Watergate ‘Road Map’ And The Coming Mueller Report

by Stephen Bates, Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, September 14, 2018

According to countless media accounts and President Trump’s own lawyers, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is writing some kind of report on allegations of presidential obstruction of justice. Exactly what sort of report this may be is unclear. But to the extent that Mueller is contemplating a referral to Congress of possible impeachment material, he has two historical models of such documents to draw on.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump's Nuclear Option

by Jack Goldsmithvia The Weekly Standard
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

With Cohen and Manafort going to jail, the president could choose to burn the system down.

Analysis and Commentary

The Dangers In The Trump-Brennan Confrontation

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, August 20, 2018

President Trump’s revocation of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance brings together in an unfortunate way two pathological trends in the Trump era, and highlights the conundrum of the former intelligence official who wishes to speak out against the president’s attacks on the Russia investigation and the intelligence community more generally.

Executive Branch Crisis Lawyering And The “Best View”

by Jack Goldsmithvia The Georgetown Journal Of Legal Ethics
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

On about May 10, 2011, Bob Bauer, then White House Counsel (WHC), told President Barack Obama that he had a “looming” legal problem. On March 19th, Obama ordered extensive United States military air strikes on Libya that were legally controversial because they lacked congressional authorization.

Analysis and Commentary

Executive Branch Lawyering In Time Of Crisis

by Bob Bauer, Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

We have complementary articles about the proper conception of lawyering for the president in times of crisis in the most recent issue of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics that we thought might be of interest to Lawfare readers.

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