SMNR: Emerging Issues in National Security Law

Course Information

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Meeting Times

Day Time Location
FRI 10:30 am - 12:20 pm TNH 3.129

Evaluation Method

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When does dropping bombs upon a foreign sovereign NOT constitute war? If CIA hackers actually succeeded in turning-off the entire power grid in Brazil over the Christmas holiday, is that such a bad thing? Does a pirate (yes, a pirate—think Jack Sparrow with an AK-47) need to succeed in his high-seas robbery before he can be convicted of piracy? This seminar provides a comprehensive introduction of developing issues in national and international law relating to insuring the national security. It is a study of the separation of powers in national security matters; presidential war powers; congressional and presidential emergency powers; the domestic effect of international law; the use of military force in international relations; investigating terrorism and other national security threats; prosecuting terrorists; access to national security information in the federal courts; and restraints on disclosing and publishing national security information. This course, for second and third year students, builds upon a strong foundation of constitutional law and goes much farther in its treatment of the fundamental tension that exists in our foreign and domestic affairs by virtue of the constitutional separation of powers between the respective branches of government. This seminar should appeal to any student who either has an interest in national security matters, including military law, or to one who is considering possible employment with the federal government in any capacity. Assessment by: class preparation and participation (30%); the required written work is in the form of a well-crafted Circuit Court opinion or legal note of interest at least 30 double-spaced pages in length (40%); and, evaluation of small group hypothetical (30%). Week 1 Introduction and Overview: Historical and Legal Week 2 Policy and Implementation: Congress, the President, and U.S. Agencies Week 3 Presidential war powers Week 4 Congressional national security powers Week 5 The role of the Judiciary in national security matters Week 6 National Security Act, FISA, and the Joint Inquiry into the Attacks of 9/11 Week 7 National Defense and the Persian Gulf Wars Week 8 Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Week 9 The National Intelligence community Week 10 Prosecuting terrorists Weeks 11-15 In-class hypothetical: immigration law and national security


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