John Yoo

Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

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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Interviews

Ricochet Replay: A Night With John Yoo

interview with John Yoovia Ricochet Replay
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo talks about his new book, Defender in Chief, as well as his time clerking on the Supreme Court and his role in the Bush 43 Administration.

Interviews

John Yoo Argues Trump Is A Defender Of Constitutional, Presidential Power

interview with John Yoovia The Federalist
Thursday, August 6, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses how President Trump’s executive actions compare to President Obama’s, the consequences of President Trump’s foreign policy, and whether Trump understands the limits of his presidential power.

Interviews

John Yoo On The John Batchelor Show

interview with John Yoovia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses his new book Defender in Chief: Donald Trump's Fight for Presidential Power.

Interviews

John Yoo On The John Batchelor Show

interview with John Yoovia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses his new book Defender in Chief: Donald Trump's Fight for Presidential Power.

Interviews

John Yoo On Trump Law: How The Trump Resistance Has Tried To Rewrite Legal Norms

interview with John Yoovia Committee for Justice
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo joins a panel to discuss whether President Trump is rewriting legal norms, standards, and definitions across the legal landscape, and the long-term impact it poses to the rule of law.

Interviews

After Words With John Yoo

interview with John Yoovia C-SPAN
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo weighs in on presidential powers and the US Constitution.

In the News

The Many Varieties Of Donald Trump

featuring John Yoovia The New York Times
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

“Defender in Chief” lays out Yoo’s conservative case for an extraordinarily strong president, virtually unchecked by Congress. Readers familiar with Yoo (he served in the George W. Bush administration and has written extensively about presidential power) won’t be surprised by the arguments found in this book, except for the fact that here he depicts President Donald Trump as an ardent defender of his originalist vision of the Constitution.

Interviews

John Yoo: Does The Supreme Court's DACA Decision Give President Trump More Power?

interview with John Yoovia CBS News
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses the Supreme Court ruling concerning the DACA program and whether that decision actually gives President Trump and future presidents more executive power moving forward.

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Defending the “Defender in Chief”: John Yoo on Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power

interview with John Yoovia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

AUDIO ONLY

On the occasion of his new book, Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power, Hoover visiting fellow and Berkeley Law School professor John Yoo joins the show to make a spirited case against the criticisms of Donald Trump for his supposed disruption of constitutional rules and norms.

Analysis and Commentary

How Donald Trump Defends Presidential Power

by John Yoovia National Review
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Whether consciously or by reacting to his own political incentives, Trump has become a stouter defender of our original governing document than his critics.

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