Executive Power Overreach
Throughout his career, Michael Tigar has criticized the growth of power of the Executive branch and the military, arguing that it violates the separation of powers and leads to the suppression of individual liberties. Much of the same logic that guided his legal challenge to wiretapping in the 1971 case of “United States v. Smith” can be seen in his twenty-first century critique of the “national security state” and his concern about the potential for narratives surrounding “terrorism” to override civil liberties.
Included in this section are several essays and book reviews elucidating these through-lines, including “The Twilight of Personal Liberty”, his introductory essay to a special edition of the Monthly Review, which connects the Patriot Act to laws passed throughout American history under the guise of national security. Other materials included here relate to Tigar’s defenses of human rights lawyer Lynne Stewart and Major Debra Meeks.