This is a seminar on the theory and practice of national security law. The seminar will be organized around six contemporary national security law issues, such as: civilian versus military trials for terrorism suspects, oversight of covert CIA activities, electronic surveillance and foreign intelligence collection, and presidential versus congressional control of the armed forces. After spending a week studying theory and legal doctrine of each issue, the class will meet with government national security officials who specialize in that area of law or policy. The meetings with guests will be used to deepen our understanding of the legal complexities and to discuss real-world dilemmas and the way government decision-making works.
In addition to active class participation, students will be required to write short memoranda throughout the semester in response to the readings.