- Professor Jeffrey Addicott, St. Mary's Law
On September 19, 2015, The Federalist Society hosted the 2015 Texas Chapters Conference at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and former United States Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings welcomed the attendees at the start of the conference. The following panel featured a retrospective on the War on Terror and the Rule of Law.
Panel: The War on Terror
September 19, 2015
With final congressional review action on the Iran Deal just days away, is Congress empowered to act in a fully informed manner with the vital information pertinent to all side agreements? Is the IAEA predictably a trustworthy actor? What tools might the people’s branch of government utilize to provide oversight and enforcement capability if Iran is in violation? Prof. Alan Dershowitz and Ambassador Dennis Ross approached these questions from different perspectives drawn from deep historical and geopolitical experience. Prof. Dershowitz is author of a book entitled The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran from Getting Nukes? and Ambassador Ross most recently wrote "How to Put Some Teeth into The Nuclear Deal with Iran" with David Patraeus.
The "Iran Deal" as negotiated by the Obama Administration and approved by the UN raises controversies on many levels. One foundational question concerns whether a president's constitutional Article II power extends to an executive agreement that incurs foreign obligations and implicates international law. The congressional response in the Corker-Cardin review act demurred from challenging whether the nuclear deal was an end-run around treaty Senate ratification requirements by acknowledging the executive agreement classification. Now there are questions as to whether the final deal is sufficiently inconsistent with the anticipated agreement such that the Corker-Cardin bill is undermined. Does UN approval prior to congressional review moot Corker-Cardin? Additionally, as yet unquantified side agreements may have a bearing on congressional posture. Also, some states have sanctioned Iran separately. Since an executive agreement does not carry the federal pre-emptive power as would a treaty, may states continue to act independent of Corker-Cardin, UN, or administration commitments?
Panel II: "Are We @Cyberwar, and If So, How Should We Fight It?"
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Several significant cyber incidents, including the recent Sony hack, have been attributed to nation-states or groups closely associated with nation-states. The Intelligence Community's most recent Worldwide Threat Assessment predicts "an ongoing series of low-to-moderate level cyber attacks from a variety of sources over time, which will impose cumulative costs on U.S. economic competitiveness and national security." It identifies Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as Threat Actors. An expert panel will analyze whether any cyber incidents should be considered acts of war, whether U.S. responses be governed by the Law of Armed Conflict, what kinds of incidents warrant responses, and what those responses might be.
April 29, 2015