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

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An Empty SCOTUS Seat: Epstein & Yoo On Ginsburg, Barrett, The Hearings, And The Future Of The Court

interview with John Yoo, Richard A. Epsteinvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, September 28, 2020

John Yoo is a professor at the University of California–Berkeley School of Law and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. Richard Epstein is a professor of law at NYU, a professor of law emeritus at the University of Chicago, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution. In this wide-ranging discussion, recorded the day after Amy Coney Barrett accepted President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the professors discuss Barrett’s qualifications and why it was correct and proper to nominate her now—five weeks before an election.


Amy Coney Barrett And Dems – Left Will Try To Turn One Of Her Greatest Strengths Into Her Weakness

by John Yoovia Fox News
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett should win the support of anyone who wants judges of intelligence, experience, and character


John Yoo: Conservatives Slam Media For 'Attacks' On Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Faith

interview with John Yoovia Fox News
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the attacks on the potential Supreme Court nominees based on their religious faith.

John Yoo On The John Batchelor Show

interview with John Yoovia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses his Fox News article "Conservative Supreme Court majority? What it could mean on these issues."


John Yoo: The Cyberlaw Podcast: Dumpster Fire In Cyberspace

interview with John Yoovia Lawfare
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the TikTok and WeChat cases.
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Law Talk With Epstein & Yoo #138: “Supreme Court: Ragnarok”

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoovia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the bruising confirmation battle to come.


John Yoo: Now That Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Passed, Who Should Get The Coveted Seat?

interview with John Yoovia KTSA
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Now That Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Passed, Who Should Get The Coveted Seat?

In the News

The TikTok Dumpster Fire

mentioning John Yoovia Reason
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

It's episode 329 of the Cyberlaw Podcast.

The Supreme Court

What Trump Should Look For In A Supreme Court Nominee

by John Yoo, James Phillipsvia Newsweek
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

From an impeachment to a pandemic, 2020 has been a crazy year. But with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, crazy is about to be taken to a whole new level. President Donald Trump has the rare opportunity to appoint a third justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. But even as he narrows down his short list, it is the Senate that will truly decide whether conservatives can change the course of constitutional law for the next decade.


John Yoo: Key Supreme Court Cases 'Hang In Balance' Amid Fight To Replace RBG

interview with John Yoovia Fox News
Monday, September 21, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses some of hot button issues facing the Supreme Court.