Author Archive

Stephen I. Vladeck

Stephen I. Vladeck is a Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, where his teaching and research focus on federal jurisdiction, constitutional law (especially the separation of powers), national security law, and international criminal law. A nationally recognized expert on the role of the federal courts in the war on terrorism, he was part of the legal team that successfully challenged the Bush Administration’s use of military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006), and has co-authored amicus briefs in a host of other lawsuits challenging the U.S. government’s surveillance and detention of terrorism suspects. Vladeck has also drafted reports on related issues for a number of organizations, including the First Amendment Center, the Constitution Project, and the ABA’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security.


Big Data Before and After Snowden

Big Data Before and After Snowden

The author reflects on a symposium panel discussion on “Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data: National Security in the Age of Unlimited Information” that occurred before the Snowden disclosures. He analyzes the panel discussion in context of the time at which it occurred and compares it to what has become known since June 2013. […]

Why Klein (Still) Matters: Congressional Deception and the War on Terrorism

Why Klein (Still) Matters: Congressional Deception and the War on Terrorism

No one seriously claims that the Supreme Court’s 1872 decision in United States v. Klein is a model of clarity. Justice Field’s opinion for the Court is as enigmatic as it is intriguing, providing the only pre-2008 example of a Supreme Court decision invalidating an Act of Congress for unconstitutionally depriving the federal courts of jurisdiction. The million dollar question, of course, is why the Court so ruled, and no amount of scholarship, no matter the quality of the analysis or the intellectual abilities of the author, has managed to settle the issue to any meaningful degree.

The Laws of War as a Constitutional Limit on Military Jurisdiction

The Laws of War as a Constitutional Limit on Military Jurisdiction

It is impossible to have a meaningful debate over whether a civilian court or a military commission is a more appropriate forum for trying terrorism suspects so long as serious questions remain over whether the commissions may constitutionally exercise jurisdiction over particular offenses and/or offenders.

Ludecke’s Lengthening Shadow: The Disturbing Prospect of War Without End

Ludecke’s Lengthening Shadow: The Disturbing Prospect of War Without End

The “war” on terrorism may never end. At a minimum, it shows no signs of ending any time soon. Although this reality is an unpleasant one for many civil libertarians today, it is also difficult to refute. Just what will mark the conclusion of hostilities? It seems unlikely that there is an entity whose “surrender” would mark an obvious “end” of combat. Even if there were such an entity, there do not appear to be clearly identifiable objectives that allow for the successful completion of the conflict. There is no physical territory to conquer, no clear leadership structure to topple, no Reichstag over which to fly a foreign flag.