The Out-of-Control International Law Presidency

Apr 17, 2017, 4:30 pm6:30 pm
McCormick Hall 101


Event Description

Jack GoldsmithHenry L. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard University

This lecture will be about the extent to which the President of the United States has come to dominate the making and interpretation of international law—including treaties, customary international law, and other forms of international agreements—for the United States.  It will reflect on the causes and consequences of this trend, and will offer normative reflections. 

Jack Goldsmith is Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and co-founder of the Lawfare Blog. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard University, Goldsmith served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, from October 2003 through July 2004, and Special Counsel to the General Counsel to the Department of Defense from September 2002 through June 2003. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School and at the University of Virginia Law School. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, and Judge George Aldrich on the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal. He is the author, most recently, of Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11 (W.W. Norton, 2012), The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside The Bush Administration (W.W. Norton, 2007), and The Limits of International Law (with Eric A. Posner, Oxford University Press, 2006), as well as of other books and articles on many topics related to terrorism, national security, international law, conflicts of law, and internet law. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations.  He received an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, from Colby College. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, and a B.A. from Washington & Lee University.  

Endowed by the late Herbert "Wiley" Vaughan, founding member of the Madison Program's Advisory Council, the Herbert W. Vaughan Lecture on America’s Founding Principles is an endowed Princeton University lecture that is hosted by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics.  Its purpose is to promote and advance understanding of the founding principles and core doctrines of American constitutionalism. 


Lecture Series
The Annual Herbert W. Vaughan Lecture on America’s Founding Principles