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 Failure Of The United States’ Chinese-Hacking Indictment Strategy

by Jack Goldsmith, Robert D. Williamsvia Lawfare
Friday, December 28, 2018

Just before Christmas, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against two Chinese nationals who allegedly conducted a twelve-year “global campaign of computer intrusions” to steal sensitive intellectual property and related confidential business information from firms in a dozen states and from the U.S. government.

Analysis and Commentary

A Crisis That Hasn’t Happened

by Jack Goldsmithvia The Weekly Standard
Friday, December 14, 2018

When President Trump forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign on November 7 and appointed the unqualified Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, just about everyone assumed that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was in trouble. Whitaker, after all, had sharply criticized the investigation before coming to the Justice Department. And now he would be supervising Mueller with an array of tools—including the power to fire Mueller, to starve him of funds, and to reverse his important legal decisions—that could slow and maybe kill the investigation.

Analysis and Commentary

The Death Of Article II Treaties?

by Curtis A. Bradley, Oona A. Hathaway, Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, December 13, 2018

President Trump has submitted only one treaty to the Senate so far in his presidency. That is a historic low, and it is the latest sign that the Article II treaty process may be dying.

Analysis and Commentary

Winter 2018 Supplement For Bradley & Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases And Materials

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Here is the Winter 2018 Supplement for Bradley & Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2017). These materials cover, among many other things, the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii (the “travel ban” case), which is excerpted with questions; the Supreme Court’s decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank concerning corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute; the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; legal issues raised by U.S. missile strikes against Syria; President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; and the debates and litigation concerning “sanctuary jurisdictions.”

Analysis and Commentary

Winter 2018 Supplement For Bradley & Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases And Materials

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Below is the Winter 2018 Supplement for Bradley & Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2017). These materials cover, among many other things, the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii (the “travel ban” case), which is excerpted with questions; the Supreme Court’s decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank concerning corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute; the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; legal issues raised by U.S. missile strikes against Syria.

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. 

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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.

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