John Yoo

Visiting Fellow

John Yoo is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California–Berkeley School of Law, and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent book is Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power (St. Martin’s 2020).

Yoo has served in all three branches of government. He was an official in the US Department of Justice, where he worked on national security and terrorism issues after the September 11 attacks. He served as general counsel of the US Senate Judiciary Committee under its chairman, Orrin Hatch of Utah. And he has been a law clerk for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas and US Court of Appeals judge Laurence Silberman.  

He held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Trento in Italy, and he has also been a visiting professor at Keio Law School in Japan, Seoul National University in Korea, Chapman Law School, the University of Chicago, and the Free University of Amsterdam. Professor Yoo also has received the Paul M. Bator Award for excellence in legal scholarship and teaching from the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy.

Yoo is the author of a number of books: Striking Power: How Cyber, Robots, and Space Weapons Change the Rules for War(2017); Point of Attack (2014)Taming Globalization (2012); Crisis and Command (2010)War by Other Means (2016); and The Powers of War and Peace (2005). He has co-edited three other books, most recently Liberty’s Nemesis: The Unchecked Expansion of the State (2016) (with Dean Reuter).

Professor Yoo received his B.A., summa cum laude, in American history from Harvard University. Between college and law school, he worked as a newspaper reporter in Washington, D.C. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an articles editor of the Yale Law Journal.

John Yoo co-hosts the Pacific Century podcast with Michael Auslin, broadly addressing developments in China and Asia. They discuss the latest politics, economics, law, and cultural news, with a focus on US policy in the region. He also co-hosts LawTalk with Richard Epstein and Troy Senik, discussing the latest developments in law and politics.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

The Abortion Opportunity For Amy Coney Barrett's Confirmation Hearings

by John Yoo, James Phillipsvia Newsweek
Monday, October 12, 2020

With President Trump out of quarantine and the debates resuming (maybe), abortion will return to center stage. Democrats will seek to turn this week's Senate hearings on Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court into a morality play. Expect to watch senators imply that her devout Catholic religious beliefs portend the judicial imposition of a patriarchal society. 


If Senators Attack Amy Coney Barrett's Faith, Here's The Reply She Must Give

by John Yoovia Fox News
Monday, October 12, 2020

We already saw a preview of this line of attack three years ago.


John Yoo: Defunding Police

interview with John Yoovia Full Measure
Sunday, October 11, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the ideas and problems with defunding the police.


John Yoo: Brennan Notes Show Alleged Clinton Plan To Tie Trump To Russia

interview with John Yoovia Fox News
Thursday, October 8, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses John Brennan and the Durham report.


John Yoo: Declassified Documents Show Alleged Clinton Plan To Tie Trump, Russia

interview with John Yoovia Fox News
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the new revelations and declassified documents in the false FISA warrant, Russian collusion, Crossfire Hurricane, etc. and who might be involved in creating the false information to attack and overturn the 2016 election.


John Yoo On Presidential Succession And Constitutional War Powers

interview with John Yoovia The 1787 Project
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the 25th Amendment, presidential succession, and war powers.


Supreme Court Confirmation Still Possible Before Election: John Yoo

interview with John Yoovia Fox Business
Monday, October 5, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the probability of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett being confirmed this year.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Decision 2020Analysis and Commentary

Area 45: A Healthy Amendment?

interview with John Yoovia Area 45
Saturday, October 3, 2020

The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution clarifies presidential succession in the event of death or resignation. What’s not so clear is prolonged incapacitation.


John Yoo On James Comey's Lie Riddled Senate Testimony

interview with John Yoovia Facebook
Friday, October 2, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses how James Comey was once again evasive and did not tell the truth.


A Winding Constitutional Path From Trump To Pence To Pompeo

by John Yoovia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, October 2, 2020

[Subscription Required] The president is sick, so here’s a review of the laws governing succession.