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International & National Security Law

The "Iran Deal"

International & National Security Law Practice Group Teleforum Friday, July 31, 03:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

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?

  • Jamil N. Jaffer, Adjunct Professor of Law and Director, Homeland and National Security Law Program, George Mason University School of Law and former Chief Counsel and Senior Advisor, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Prof. John C. Yoo, Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law

Immigration Cases in the Supreme Court - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
John C. Eastman June 23, 2015

On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued ruling in two important immigration cases: Mata v. Lynch and Kerry v. Din.

In Mata v. Lynch, the Court overturned the Fifth Circuit’s refusal to hear an appeal of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision to dismissal of Noel Reyes Mata’s request to appeal his deportation to Mexico, holding that the Fifth Circuit erred in declining to take jurisdiction over Mr. Mata’s appeal.

In Kerry v. Din, the Court overturned the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that petitioner Fauzia Din was denied constitutional due process protections when her husband, Kanishka Berashk, a resident citizen of Afghanistan and a former civil servant in the Taliban regime, was denied an immigration visa to the United States on the grounds that he was inadmissable under American law that excludes aliens who have engaged in “[t]errorist activities,” and when Mrs. Din and Mr. Berashk were subsequently denied review of their appeal in U.S. District Court. The Court held that the U.S. Government’s long practice of regulating immigration, which has included erecting serious impediments to a person’s ability to bring a spouse into the United States, precludes Mrs. Din’s claim.

Our expert, Chapman University School of Law Prof. John C. Eastman, analyzed these opinions and offered his perspectives of their impact on immigration policy.

  • Prof. John C. Eastman, Director, Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law and Community Service, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Zivotofsky v. Kerry - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 6-11-15
Steven G. Bradbury June 11, 2015

On June 8, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Zivotofsky v. Kerry. This case concerns Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003, which directs the Secretary of State, upon request, to record the birthplace of an American citizen born in Jerusalem as born in “Israel” on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and on a United States passport. The question before the Court is whether the D.C. Circuit erred in holding Section 214(d) an unconstitutional infringement on the President’s power to recognize foreign sovereigns.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Court affirmed the judgment of the D.C. Circuit by a vote of 6-3 as to passports and 5-4 as to consular reports.  The power to recognize foreign governments, the Court held, rests solely with the President.  Because Section 214(d) would require the President to contradict his prior recognition determination in an official document issued by the Secretary of State, the Court explained, Section 214(d) is unconstitutional.

Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, which Justice Alito joined. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion, which Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito joined. 

To discuss the case, we have Mr. Steven Bradbury, who is a Partner at Dechert.

National Insecurity: Is the Law the Enemy's Weapon? - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Security Symposium
Andrew C. McCarthy May 22, 2015

The Federalist Society's International & National Security Law Practice Group presented this luncheon address during the 2015 National Security Symposium on April 29 in Washington, D.C.

Luncheon Address: "National Insecurity: Is the Law the Enemy's Weapon?"
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

  • Andrew C. McCarthy, Senior Fellow, National Review Institute

April 29, 2015
Washington, DC

Are We @Cyberwar, and If So, How Should We Fight It? - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Security Symposium
Stewart A. Baker, Eric Jensen, Catherine B. Lotrionte, John C. Yoo, Jeremy A. Rabkin May 22, 2015

The Federalist Society's International & National Security Law Practice Group presented this panel during the 2015 National Security Symposium on April 29 in Washington, D.C.

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.

  • Hon. Stewart A. Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, former Assistant Secretary of Policy, Department of Homeland Security, and former General Counsel, National Security Agency
  • Prof. Eric Talbot Jensen, Brigham Young University Law School, and former Chief, International Law, Office of The Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army
  • Catherine B. Lotrionte, Director, CyberProject, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and former former Counsel to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, former Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Prof. John C. Yoo, Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law, former Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
  • Moderator: Prof. Jeremy A. Rabkin, George Mason University School of Law

April 29, 2015
Washington, DC