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

Detention, the AUMF, and the Bush Administration — Correcting the Record

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It is now well known that the Obama administration has embraced almost all of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies without substantial modification...

Detention, the AUMF, and the Bush Administration — Correcting the Record

by Jack Goldsmithvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It is now well known that the Obama administration has embraced almost all of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies without substantial modif

Analysis and Commentary

State Secrets – Power from Constraint

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, September 13, 2010

An interesting aspect of the recent en banc decision in Jeppesen is the court’s reliance on the new Obama administration internal procedures to support its “independent conclusion..."

A way past the terrorist detention gridlock

by Jack Goldsmithvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine years after Sept. 11 and 20 months into the Obama presidency, our nation is still flummoxed about what to do with captured terrorists. The Obama administration is stuck about where the Bush administration was, with little hope in sight for progress.

Analysis and Commentary

A way past the terrorist detention gridlock

by Jack Goldsmithvia Washington Post
Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine years after Sept. 11 and 20 months into the Obama presidency, our nation is still flummoxed about what to do with captured terrorists...

Cybersecurity – Four New Essays

by Jack Goldsmithvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cybersecurity is in my opinion and the opinion of many in Washington the most significant national security challenge that the United States faces today.  We are among the most computer-dependent of societies, and we have the most computer-dependent military and intellige

Analysis and Commentary

Cybersecurity – Four New Essays

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cybersecurity is in my opinion and the opinion of many in Washington the most significant national security challenge that the United States faces today...

Thoughts on “Lawfare”

by Jack Goldsmithvia Advancing a Free Society
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A friend bristled at the title of this blog, Lawfare, because he thinks that the first sense in which Ben uses the term in his initial post – the use of law as a weapon of war – has derogatory conn

Analysis and Commentary

Thoughts on “Lawfare”

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A friend bristled at the title of this blog, Lawfare, because he thinks that the first sense in which Ben uses the term in his initial post – the use of law as a weapon of war – has derogatory connotations for the rule of law in warfare...

Analysis and Commentary

New START Treaty could erode Senate's foreign policy role

by Jack Goldsmith, Jeremy Rabkinvia Washington Post
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Critics of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) warn that it may endanger the United States' capacity to go forward with missile defense. But the treaty, Senate consideration of which has been pushed back to the fall, raises another concern...

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