David B. Rivkin, Jr.

Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP, and Co-Chairman, Center for Law and Counterterrorism

David B. Rivkin Jr. is a member of the firm’s litigation, international and environmental groups and he co-chairs the firm’s appellate and major motions team. He has extensive experience in constitutional, administrative and international law litigation.

Mr. Rivkin has been involved in numerous high-profile cases. He has represented the 26 States that have challenged the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and was the lead outside counsel in the District Court and Court of Appeals. He also represented the Republic of Croatia before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice for a number of years on a wide range of issues involving international humanitarian law and the laws of war. Mr. Rivkin also has considerable experience with litigation involving national security-related matters, including defending Bivens actions brought against former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. From 2004 through 2007, he served as an expert member of the United Nations Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

Mr. Rivkin has represented corporations in alien tort statute and civil RICO litigation, as well as in challenges to federal agency actions and constitutional challenges to state statutes. He has provided compliance advice to companies, as well as handled enforcement proceedings before government agencies on issues arising out of various multilateral and unilateral sanctions (ITAR, EAR and questions relating to dealings with proscribed countries), Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-boycott issues and environmental and energy matters.

He is a recipient of numerous academic and professional awards, including Phi Alpha Theta (1981), U.S. Naval Proceedings Annual Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for the best maritime affairs article (1984) and the Burton Award for legal achievement (2011). He is a prolific writer and commentator and, over the years, has published hundreds of articles, op eds, book reviews and book chapters on a variety of international, legal, constitutional, defense, arms control, foreign policy, environmental and energy issues for various newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street JournalWashington PostNew York TimesWashington TimesLos Angeles TimesForeign AffairsForeign PolicyNational InterestNational ReviewPolicy ReviewHarvard Journal of Law & PolicyAmerican University Law ReviewAdministrative Law JournalUniversity of Pennsylvania Law Review and University of Chicago Journal of International Law. Mr. Rivkin also has been a frequent commentator and guest on TV and radio shows, including CNN, NBC and MSNBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News, NPR, PBS, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and numerous Australian, French, German and Swiss TV stations.

From 1993 to December 1999, Mr. Rivkin was a member of the Hunton & Williams law firm. Prior to returning to private practice, Mr. Rivkin served from 1987-1993 in various capacities in the federal government. During 1992-1993, he was Associate Executive Director and General Counsel of the President’s Council on Competitiveness at the White House. While there, he was responsible for the review and analysis of legal issues related to the regulatory review conducted by the Council.

He handled the development and implementation of President George H.W. Bush’s deregulatory initiatives, which entailed review of all existing federal regulatory strictures and the application of a more rigorous cost-effective standard to new regulations. His substantive areas of responsibility included international sanctions, energy, environment and tax issues. He played a leading role in the development of Order 636, which introduced major changes to the regulation of the interstate natural gas pipelines, and simultaneously served as the Special Assistant for Domestic Policy to then Vice President Dan Quayle.

Mr. Rivkin also served as the Associate General Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), from 1990-91. At DOE he was responsible for international, constitutional, environmental and energy matters, including global climate change problems, natural gas, hydro and electricity issues, development and implementation of the Natural Energy Strategy, implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, wetlands policy and related issues, development of RCRA and Clean Water Act legislative proposals and deregulation of energy markets. Mr. Rivkin played a significant role in developing the Reagan and Bush Administrations’ regulatory and legislative proposals affecting natural gas and electric utility industries.

In addition to his positions with the Council on Competitiveness and the Department of Energy, he served in the office of then Vice President George H.W. Bush as Legal Advisor to the Counsel to the Vice President, in the White House Counsel’s Office and as Deputy Director of the Office of Policy Development (OPD), U.S. Department of Justice. While at OPD, he worked on a wide variety of constitutional, domestic and international issues, including judicial selection, legal policy, immigration and asylum matters and intelligence oversight.

Prior to embarking on a legal career, Mr. Rivkin worked as a defense and foreign policy analyst, focusing on Soviet affairs, arms control, naval strategy and NATO-related issues, and served as a defense consultant to numerous government agencies and Washington think tanks.

  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1985
  • M.A., Soviet Affairs, Georgetown University, 1984, with high honors
  • B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, 1980

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Publications and Multimedia
Newly Proposed CO2 Rules - Podcast
Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
June 06, 2014
Debt Ceiling Deadline - Podcast
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
October 14, 2013
Environmental Law and Regulation - Event Audio/Video
First Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
June 14, 2013
Health Care Decision: NFIB v. Sebelius - Podcast
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
June 28, 2012
Where Are the Muslim Moderates? - Event Audio/Video
Silenced: Are Global Trends to Ban Religious Defamation, Religious Insult, and Islamophobia a New Challenge to First Amendment Freedoms?
November 04, 2011
The President's Authority in Libya - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
April 07, 2011
Terror Trials and Executive Power - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
January 28, 2011
The War on Terror: Where Are We Now? Where Do We Go from Here? - Event Audio/Video
International & National Security Law Practice Group
January 27, 2010
Individual Health Care Insurance Mandate Debate
Online Debate
November 03, 2009
Detention and Trial of Terrorist Suspects - Event Audio/Video
International & National Security Law Practice Group
May 28, 2009
OLC Memos
Online Debate
April 24, 2009
The War on Terror: Litigation Update - Event Audio
International & National Security Law Practice Group
February 24, 2009
International Law & the Separation of Powers - Event Audio/Video
2008 National Lawyers Convention
November 20, 2008
SCOTUScast 6-16-08 featuring David Rivkin
Boumediene v. Bush
June 16, 2008
The War on Terrorism and Specialized Courts - Event Audio/Video
Chicago Lawyers Chapter and International & National Security Law Practice Group
May 12, 2008
Executive Privilege (Continued)
Online Debate
August 17, 2007
International Law - Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges - Event Video
A Conference Discussing the Contributions of Judge Robert H. Bork
June 26, 2007
Customary International Law, the War on Terror, and the Constitution - Event Audio
International & National Security Law Practice Group
May 03, 2006