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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary

Blank Section (Placeholder)PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Area 45: President (Yes, President) Pelosi?

interview with John Yoovia Area 45
Monday, August 31, 2020

A contentious presidential election and an indecisive Congress paves the way for the next president. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Pacific Century: Japan’s Rising Military

interview with Michael R. Auslin, Taro Kono, John Yoovia The Pacific Century
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

An Interview with Taro Kono, Japan’s Defense Minister.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Law Talk With Epstein & Yoo #137: “Epstein, Yoo, & You”

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoovia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Law Talk professors take listener questions.


John Yoo: Investigating The Investigators: First Guilty Plea In Review Of 'Crossfire Hurricane'

interview with John Yoovia Fox News
Thursday, August 20, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo talks about the guilty plea by former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith and what that portends for other "investigators."


Defender In Chief: John Yoo On President Trump And Executive Power

interview with John Yoovia Ricochet
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo examines Donald Trump’s performance as president as well as deeper theories about the nature of executive power. Yoo contends that presidents have the “power to reverse,” meaning a vastly consequential policymaking power to modify the decisions of previous administrations. Yoo also sees a vital role for presidents, not just the Supreme Court, in defending the Constitution.
Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Pacific Century: The Past, Present, And Future Of The China Challenge

interview with Michael R. Auslin, Larry Diamond, John Yoovia The Pacific Century
Thursday, August 13, 2020

An Interview with Larry Diamond.


John Yoo: Portland DA Declines To Prosecute Riot-Related Offenses

interview with John Yoovia Fox News
Thursday, August 13, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the Portland DA's decision to not prosecute many of the crimes committed by the rioters.

In the News

Book Review: 'Defender In Chief'

featuring John Yoovia The Washington Times
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

One of the key aspects of the Trump presidency has been his success at maintaining the vibrant and dynamic role of the office of the president. In “Defender in Chief,” John Yoo counters the narrative that President Trump challenges our constitutional order. On the contrary, Mr. Yoo explains, Mr. Trump has been quite remarkable in promoting and protecting the presidency as an integral part of our federal system.


John Yoo On Point Of View Radio Talk Show (01:40:46)

interview with John Yoovia Point Of View Radio Talk Show
Monday, August 10, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses his new book Defender In Chief.


In A Second Term, Trump Could Build On His Foreign-Policy Successes

by John Yoo, Arthur Hermanvia New York Post
Monday, August 10, 2020

Democrats and their media allies like to paint Donald Trump as a foreign-policy catastrophe. Even some conservatives have joined the angry chorus. Neocon stalwart Eliot Cohen, for example, has attacked Trump’s policies as “deeply misguided” and a strategic disaster.