Today, writes Ben Daus-Haberle, the Militia Clauses of the Constitution lead a curious double life. The Second Amendment’s preamble stars in gun rights debates, but when the conversation shifts to the War Powers, these Clauses drop almost entirely from view. The result is a War Powers literature strikingly silent about the Militia Clauses. Yet the founders regarded the militia as a key military resource. To them, the militia was the “great Bulwark of our Liberties and independence,” and they structured the Constitution with this bulwark in mind.
This paper returns the Militia Clauses to view to explore how they shaped the War Powers. While scholars have occasionally considered the clauses in isolation, the full dimensions of this regime only become visible when the clauses are examined intratextually—that is, in dialogue with each other and the rest of the constitutional text.
Doing so both illuminates the original functioning of the War Powers and prevents misunderstandings that can arise when individual clauses are considered in isolation.
Stephen Dycus reviews Professor Eric K. Yamamoto’s timely book In the Shadow of Korematsu: Democratic Liberties and National Security, published just weeks before the Supreme Court decided Trump v. Hawaii. Dycus draws out the book’s core themes, highlighting Yamamoto’s analysis of the Korematsu decision and its continued relevance in American jurisprudence. The review concludes with a discussion of Yamamoto’s proposed process for judicial review in cases that involve both national security and civil liberties.
The rich legal literature that has grown up to assess the constitutionality of bulk communications collection by the government has focused overwhelmingly—and understandably—on the challenge such programs pose to particular claims of individual right against the state, yet attempting to describe what seems troubling about bulk collection in terms of individual rights alone has significant doctrinal and conceptual limits.
James Hodge and Kim Weidenaar discuss the importance of approaching public health emergencies as threats to national security, and they propose 10 criteria for designating public health threats as national security concerns.
In his essay on domestic surveillance, Philip Heymann explores the ways in which technological advancements have changed expectations of privacy and the legal protections against government intrusion. He outlines current constitutional and other legal protections, including evolving limitations on government activity that could be considered not a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. Heymann concludes with predictions about the future balance between citizens’ demands for privacy and the government need for information.