This course is an introductory examination of U.S. national security law. We will study questions relating to the exercise of military force, the conduct of intelligence operations, and the detention, treatment, and individual targeting of enemy combatants. In considering those questions, special attention will be paid to (1) how to allocate decision-making authority among the President, the Congress, and the courts; (2) how to strike the proper balance, substantively, between security and liberty and, procedurally, between secrecy and transparency; and, (3) how to reconcile domestic law and policy objectives with international obligations and norms. We will be guided largely by domestic sources of law – the Constitution and such statutes as the National Security Act, the War Powers Resolution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the Military Commissions Act – but, at times, we will look to international law and the laws of other nations to supplement our understanding of domestic law.
Non-JD students may enroll only after obtaining the written permission of the instructor.