Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In 2019-2021, he served as the Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, executive secretary of the department's Commission on Unalienable Rights, and senior adviser to the...
Human Rights attorney Scott Horton debated Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Peter Berkowitz on human rights and the rules of warfare in a debate organized by the Pomona Student Union on Mar. 4 at 7 p.m. in Edmunds Ballroom. . . .
In October 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the USA Patriot Act. The law is intended to prevent future terrorist acts by enhancing various law enforcement tools. Critics argue that the Patriot Act is a dangerous infringement on American civil liberties. Now, more than two years after the passage of the Patriot Act, do we have any evidence that the critics are right? For that matter, do we even know whether the Patriot Act is working to deter terrorism? Should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire, or should its provisions become a permanent part of the war on terrorism?
In late 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Bush administration proposed the USA Patriot Act, which gave law enforcement agencies expanded surveillance and intelligence-gathering powers. Congress overwhelmingly approved the Patriot Act on the condition that most provisions of the act would expire in 2005. President Bush now wants all provisions of the act extended. Should they be? Or are the provisions dangerous and unnecessary infringements on our civil liberties? Peter Robinson speaks with Jenny Martinez and John Yoo.
Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed and President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act—legislation intended to thwart the threat of domestic terrorism. Critics were quick to denounce USA Patriot as a dangerous expansion of government power at the expense of our civil liberties. Are the critics right? Or can we win the war on terrorism without sacrificing our civil liberties here at home? And what has the American experience in earlier crises, such as the Civil War and the two world wars, taught us about balancing national security and personal freedom?
Do enemy combatants in the war on terror have any legal rights? The United States now holds more than 650 persons captured during the war on terrorism at our naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba. The government is holding them indefinitely, without charging them and without offering them access to American courts or legal counsel. Is this legal? Do federal courts have jurisdiction in this matter, or do these detainees exist completely outside of the American legal system?
Does the war on terrorism threaten our civil liberties? Benjamin Franklin famously admonished, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Are we today being asked to give up essential liberties for temporary safety? If so, is it worth it? Or are the fears that the government's war on terrorism will trample our freedoms overblown?
In June 2003, a European constitutional convention presented the fruits of 18 months of work: a draft constitution for the European Union that runs to more than 200 pages. Why does the European Union even need a constitution? Will the constitution limit the powers of the EU over the member countries, or does it mean the creation of a European superstate? Should the constitution be ratified, or is it just a colossal mistake?
As Barack Obama begins his second term as president of the United States, the nation faces a range of formidable challenges at the intersection of which are national security and law.
Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution examines three enemy combatant cases that represent the leading edge of U.S. efforts to devise legal rules, consistent with American constitutional principles, for waging the global war on terror. The distinguished contributors analyze the crucial questions these cases raise about the balance between national security and civil liberties in wartime and call for a reexamination of the complex connections between the Constitution and international law.
Did the Boumediene decision represent a victory for separation of powers? Hardly, despite what the Supreme Court majority claimed. Instead, it was judicial overreach. By Peter Berkowitz.
What happens when South Korean students take a close look at American democracy. By Peter Berkowitz.
What sustains the conservative agenda? What makes it distinctive and coherent? In a word, principle. By Peter Berkowitz.
France may have a case for banning the burqa. By Peter Berkowitz.
The Hoover Institution hosted its annual Board of Overseers’ summer meeting during July 9–11, 2013.
The program began on Tuesday evening with before-dinner remarks by Paul D. Clement, a partner at Bancroft PLLC. Clement served as the forty-third solicitor general of the United States from June 2005 until June 2008. He has argued more than sixty-five cases before the US Supreme Court. During Clement’s speech, titled “Federalism in the Roberts Court,” he talked about the revitalization of federalism in the Rehnquist court “imposing some limits on the federal government’s power vis-a-vis the states.”
Women in Kuwait have made significant advances in their pursuit of civil rights. Could Kuwait become a model for other Arab states? By Hoover fellow Peter Berkowitz.
Peter Berkowitz on The War on Terror and the Laws of War: A Military Perspective by Michael Lewis, Eric Jensen, Geoffrey Corn, Victor Hansen, Richard Jackson, and James Schoettler.
Peter Berkowitz on God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World by Walter Russell Mead
The Hoover Institution hosted its annual Spring Retreat beginning on Sunday, April 21, 2013, with before-dinner remarks by Kevin Warsh, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His speech, titled “The Economy over the Horizon: Unknown Knowns,” emphasized the importance of the state of the economy, which currently has a 2 percent growth rate, and understanding the concept of “unknown knowns,” a reference to former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld.