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Oct 11

The Constitution and the Common Defense: Who Ensures America’s National Security?

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Arguably more than any other armed conflict, the events of September 11, 2001 tested the President’s constitutional authority to wage war on behalf of the country. Whether the issue was the capture and treatment of detainees, interrogation techniques, surveillance, the Geneva Conventions, wiretapping, Guantanamo, or the role of the courts during war time, this conflict unleashed a public debate regarding the role of the President during wartime. Who ensures America’s national security?

Does the Constitution, as John Yoo argues, give the President “the primary direction of national security decisions, with Congress retaining ample authority to check executive power”? Or, as others have asserted, the Framers “intended Congress to play the predominant role in setting national security and foreign policy and that legislative action invariably overrides presidential decision-making”? And what role, if any, should the Courts play in the conduct of national security policy?

Join us for this historic event to hear three former U.S. Attorneys General discuss their views on the Constitution as it pertains to Presidential power and the role of Congress and the Court during wartime.

More About the Speakers

The Honorable John D. Ashcroft
79th Attorney General of the United States

The Honorable Michael B. Mukasey
81st Attorney General of the United States

Hosted By

Edwin Meese III Edwin Meese III

Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus Read More