U.S. Law & National Security

Class Unique: 28080
This course is designed to be an interesting and relevant survey of National Security Law with active discussion of both recent and anticipated future events of national importance. Due to significant legislative action and court decisions in the last four years, the first half of the syllabus has been modified to tightly focus on espionage, terrorism, AEDPA, Patriot, the government's emergency powers, domestic military authority, habeas corpus, and domestic and military courts. This will be followed by a review of national security related First Amendment cases, electronic surveillance (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III), foreign search and seizure, the Classified Information procedures Act, and the U.S. corporate export of sensitive technology. The last few weeks will concentrate on the historical development and use of the President's War Power up through Vietnam, Yugoslavia and the Gulf Wars. Cases that will be covered include U.S. v. Rosenberg, Ronald Pelton, Wen Ho Lee, John Walker Lindh, Ramsey Yousef, Bin Laden (I and II), Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush, Timothy McVeigh, Milligan, Youngstown, Korematsu, N.Y. Times, CIA v. Sims, Oliver North, Manuel Noriega, the Laird cases, Dellums v. Bush and Campbell v. Clinton Some short sections of films and news reports related to legal issues (e,g. The Siege, Nightline, Frontline) will be shown during the year. As time permits it is also anticipated that guests representing either the CIA, FBI or DOJ may visit. Grading and Exams: The class is intended to be informative and enjoyable without disproportionately adding to the law school burden. There will be no paper and the exam will be a floating three hour take home. It will include a combination of short answer and essay questions. Lively, professional and respectful class debate on legal issues related to national security, foreign policy and law enforcement is highly encouraged and approximately five bonus points will be given on the exam for intelligent contribution to that discussion during the year. Materials: The text, U.S. Law and National Security Second Edition will be available at the Coop bookstore. Law review articles such as Meeting the Twenty First Century Terrorist Threat Within the Scope of Twentieth Century Constitutional law, War on Terrorism or Global Law Enforcement Operation, Patriot 2001-2007 Truth, Controversy and Consequences, and Campbell v. Clinton and the Attempt to Reassert Congress' Constitutional Power to Declare or Prevent War, will be referenced in class. Many of these have recently been updated, modified and included with other national security articles in a book titled Defense, Liberty and the Constitution. This book should also be available at the Co-Op. It offers additional insights for the student interested in national security law, but its purchase is optional. The syllabus should be available by the end of October and maintained with my legal assistant Anthony Nichols.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Tuesday 3:30 - 5:20 pm TNH 2.124
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type


Sievert, Ronald J Sievert, Ronald J