John Yoo

Visiting Fellow

John Yoo is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. From 2001 to 2003 he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Council in the Justice Department of President George W. Bush. Professor Yoo is the author of a number of books, most recently of Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power, From George Washington to George W. Bush.

John Yoo co-hosts the Pacific Century podcast with Michael Auslin, where they broadly address developments in China and Asia. They discuss the latest politics, economics, law, and cultural news, with a focus on US policy in the region.

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Recent Commentary

In the News

California's Challenge To Trump’s Border Wall More Likely To Win On Narrow Grounds

quoting John Yoovia Gazette Xtra
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
When a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall goes before a federal judge in San Francisco, California and 15 other states will argue that the administration’s decision to bypass Congress violates the U.S. Constitution.
In the News

Trump’s Emergency Declaration, John Yoo’s Take

quoting Jack Goldsmith, John Yoovia Powerline
Monday, February 18, 2019

Over the weekend, I linked to Jack Goldsmith’s article on President Trump’s use of national emergency power to come up with the money to build more border fencing. Goldsmith took no position at this early date on the legality of Trump’s move. However, his initial view is that hysteria over it is misplaced and that Trump’s legal position is plausible.

In the News

ACLU Announces Lawsuit Against President Trump For ‘Illegal’ National Emergency

quoting John Yoovia NTD
Saturday, February 16, 2019

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it was filing a lawsuit against President Donald Trump following his declaration of a national emergency on Feb. 15.


John Yoo: No Court Has Ever Struck Down A President's Reallocation Authority

interview with John Yoovia Fox News
Friday, February 15, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo discusses what qualifies as a national emergency.

In the News

Trump Counting On Supreme Court To Vindicate His Emergency Declaration

quoting John Yoovia New York Magazine
Friday, February 15, 2019

In his strange, rambling, interminable press conference that sorta kinda announced his decision to declare a national emergency so that he can raid military construction accounts for border-wall money, President Trump acknowledged that this move will immediately spur litigation, and even that lower federal courts would initially stymie him. But he expressed confidence that the Supreme Court would eventually back him just as it did in the case of a revised travel ban that had been voided by lower courts.

In the News

AP Explains: Can Trump Declare Emergency To Build His Wall?

quoting John Yoovia The Tribune
Thursday, February 14, 2019

The White House says President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency and take other executive action to allow construction of the president’s long-promised southern border wall, after bipartisan congressional negotiations provided less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion Trump wanted to start building more than 200 miles of wall.


John Yoo: McCabe Says He Ordered Trump Investigation After FBI Director Comey Was Fired

interview with John Yoovia Fox News
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo talks about former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Andrew McCabe's disclosure that he ordered an investigation of President Trump after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

Analysis and Commentary

How To Restore Separation Of Powers

by John Yoo, James C. Phillipsvia National Review
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The war between President Donald Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller rages on. Mueller continues to methodologically pick off Trump’s former allies: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen, among others. Yet no evidence has surfaced that indicates collusion with the Russians, much less a criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia. In response, the president floats the idea of firing Mueller or pardoning himself while also maintaining his own innocence. 

In the News

Trump Can Build A Wall Without Congress

quoting John Yoovia Patriot Post
Monday, February 11, 2019

The president has several options to break what has become an inexcusable stalemate.


The Law Will Be On Trump’s Side If He Declares An Emergency To Fund His Wall

by John Yoovia National Review
Thursday, February 7, 2019

For all the legal analysts wringing their hands at the prospect of such a move, the courts would likely uphold it.