David B. Rivkin Jr.

Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
David Rivkin

David B. Rivkin, Jr., is a partner in the Washington office of Baker Hostetler LLP, and Co-Chairs the Firm’s Appellate and Major Motions practice.  He is also a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.  He specializes in litigation and regulatory work, with a particular emphasis on constitutional, international law and public policy issues. 

Mr. Rivkin has been involved in litigating numerous high-profile cases. He is the lead counsel in the civil rights case brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against several Wisconsin state government officials, who have initiated a sprawling John Doe investigation directed solely at conservative and right-of-center policy advocacy groups in the State of Wisconsin.  He also is the lead counsel in the lawsuit brought by the Texas Home School Coalition, challenging the constitutionality of the Texas Ethics Commission’s campaign finance regulations. 

As part of Baker Hostetler’s role as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, David is responsible for litigating more than half a dozen Second Circuit and Supreme Court cases.  David is also a lead lawyer on a team that represents a former London-based JP Morgan managing director, whose cooperation was sought in the investigation related to a multibillion-dollar trading loss for the bank. 

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 for a number of years the Republic of Croatia before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice 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. He also represented Texas and Wyoming in their challenge to the key EPA greenhouse gas regulations, issued under the Clean Air Act. From 2004 through 2007, he served as an expert member of the United Nations Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

Before returning to the private sector, Mr. Rivkin served in a variety of legal and policy positions in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations, including stints in the White House Counsel's office, Office of the Vice President and the Departments of Justice and Energy.  Prior to embarking on a legal career, he served as a defense and foreign policy analyst, focusing on Soviet affairs, arms control, naval strategy and NATO-related issues.

Mr. Rivkin holds a J.D. degree from Columbia University Law School, a Masters degree in Soviet Affairs from Georgetown University, and a Bachelors of Science degree from the Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  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).   

Mr. Rivkin is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a prolific writer and has published numerous papers, 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 Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Interest, National Review, Policy Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Policy, American University Law Review, Administrative Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and University of Chicago Journal of International Law

He 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.  

  • 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
Ziglar v. Abbasi - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
SCOTUScast 7-25-17 featuring David B. Rivkin
July 25, 2017
Ziglar v. Abbasi Decided - Are Government Officials Liable for Damages? - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
July 07, 2017
Immigration Moratorium in the Supreme Court - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
June 27, 2017
Presidential Conflicts? - Podcast
Practice Group Podcast
December 12, 2016
The Clean Power Plan Goes to Court - Event Audio/Video
Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group
September 15, 2016
Clean Power Plan in the Court - Podcast
Environmental Law & Property Rights and Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Groups Podcast
September 14, 2016
The Alt-Chain Revolution: Regulatory Considerations for the Next Wave of Bitcoin Innovation - Podcast
Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Podcast
April 25, 2016
Birthright Citizenship: Two Perspectives
Engage, Volume 17, Issue 1
February 22, 2016
The Story Behind Iran's Assets - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
October 30, 2015
The "Iran Deal" - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
August 03, 2015
Affordable Care Act Case Decided: King v. Burwell - Podcast
Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group Podcast
June 25, 2015
Executive Action on Immigration - Event Audio/Video
Sponsored by the Federalist Society's Practice Groups
February 20, 2015
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