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The Imperial Presidency and the Consequences of 9/11

Lawyers React to the Global War on Terrorism

by James R. Silkenat and Mark R. Shulman, editors


A collection of documents (with introductions) that represent the independent voice of the nation's largest and most influential municipal bar, these materials represent an impressive variety of hard-hitting reports, letters and briefs addressing legal issues arising out of the global war on terror.

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February 2007


Pages 520
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Presidential Studies
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The issue of the imperial presidency, which is raised in connection with the Bush administration's response to the legal issues flowing from the 9/11 attacks, is one that now resonates broadly across the American political landscape: not just with Democrats, but with Republicans too; and not just with lawyers, but with the American public generally. Are the legal powers of the President unlimited in cases of terrorist attacks on the United States? Do the courts and legislatures have a role to play? How relevant is the U.S. Constitution in these instances? These reports, compiled by the NYC Bar Association merit wider distribution. Thus, Silkenat and Shulman have brought them together to give readers a clearer sense of what the rule of law really means to Americans. As noted in a New York Times editorial in January 2006: Nothing in the national consensus to combat terrorism after 9/11 envisioned the unilateral rewriting of more than 200 years of tradition and law by the president embarked on an ideological crusade

Over the past few years, much lip service has been paid to the phrase rule of law. At the same time, the U.S. government has avoided basic rule of law principles by holding prisoners outside the law (off the books and out of Red Cross supervision, off shore or even on U.S. soil, but without due process or urgent matter that bears on the security of this country). In both volumes, learned practitioners and scholars argue in favor of adherence to time-tested principles. Each report has a preface that places the material in historical and legal context.

Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsAbout the EditorsAbout the ContributorsIntroductionChapter 1 Inter Arma Silent Leges: In Times of Armed Conflict, Should the Laws be Silent? A Report on the Presidents Military Order of November 13, 2001, Regarding Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against TerrorismChapter 2The Legality and Constitutionality of the Presidents Authority to Initiate an Invasion of IraqChapter 3Letter to President Bush Concerning the United Nations Charter Obligations Regarding IraqChapter 4Letter from the Association President to President George W. Bush re Human Rights and Security of Women and Girls in AfghanistanChapter 5Letter to Honorable William J. Haynes II re Comments on Military Commission Instruction Crimes and Elements for Trials by Military CommissionsChapter 6Letter to U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz re Enemy Prisoners of War and Other DetaineesChapter 7Amicus Brief: Jose Padilla v. Donald RumsfeldChapter 8A Comment on Legislation to Amend the Agriculture and Markets Law, in Relation to Unlawful Tampering with Animal ActivitiesChapter 9The Indefinite Detention of Enemy Combatants: Balancing Due Process and National Security in the Context of the War on TerrorChapter 10Recommendations Related to the Trial of Saddam HusseinChapter 11Human Rights Standards Applicable to the United States Interrogation of DetaineesChapter 12Dangerous Doctrine: The Attorney Generals Unfounded Claim of Unlimited Authority to Arrest and Deport Aliens In SecretChapter 13Letter from the Association President to U.S. Congressman Edward Markey re: HR 4674: The Proposed Legislation Seeking the End of U.S. Involvement in Extraordinary RenditionChapter 14NYC Bar Association Issues Statement Opposing House 9/11 BillChapter 15Position Paper by the Committee on Labor and Employment Law re: The right of employees not represented by a labor organization to have a co-worker present during interviews that may lead to the discipline of an employee in light of real or threatened terrorist attacks.Chapter 16Torture by Proxy: International and Domestic Law Applicable to Extraordinary RenditionsChapter 17Letter from the Association President to the Honorable Alberto Gonzales re 9/11 IssuesChapter 18Statement of the Association with Respect to Release or Transfer of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval StationChapter 19Letter from the Association President to Representative Edward Markey re HR 952: The Proposed Bill Seeking to End U.S. Involvement in Extraordinary RenditionChapter 20Letter from the Association President to Honorable Arlen Specter and Honorable Patrick Leahy re: Nomination of William J. Haynes II to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th CircuitChapter 21Letter from the Association President to Honorable Pat Roberts and Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV re: Hearings on Patriot Act Reauthorization and RevisionChapter 22Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: The City Bars Amicus BriefChapter 23The Prevention and Prosecution of Terrorist Acts: A Survey of Multilateral Instruments



"Silkenat and Shulman collect reports, amicus briefs, and other materials produced by members of the New York City Bar Association commenting on the expansive powers pursued by President Bush in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The 23 documents, when not presenting recommendations (uniformly ignored by the administration), are overwhelmingly critical of the President's War on Terror policies and judge many of them to be of questionable legality and constitutionality."Reference & Research Book News

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