Thursday, April 5, 2007

Symposium on The Domestic Commander in Chief at Cardozo

Cardozo Law School is holding a symposium on the President's domestic role as Commander in Chief on April 16. The event is free and open to the public, but requires registration.

The program begins with a panel on The Commander in Chief in Historical Perspective, featuring speakers Michael Les Benedict, Dept. of History, Ohio State University; Elizabeth Hillman, Rutgers School of Law-Camden; Martin Lederman, Georgetown University Law Center and Martin Flaherty, Fordham University School of Law. Louis Fisher, Congressional Research Service, also appears on a panel on Secrecy and the Commander-in-Chief Power.

Conference information is here, and the flyer is here (pdf). To register, e-mail floersheimer@yu.edu, or return the form on the flyer at the link. Here's the description of the symposium:
What authority does the President's role as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces grant him to act in the domestic arena? By most accounts, the Commander-in-Chief Clause vests the President with broad power over the military and its conduct within a "theater of war." But when that theater overlaps with much of domestic life, the President's control over the military runs headlong into Congress's regulatory authority as well as constitutional protections for individual rights.
This clash of constitutional principle has surfaced repeatedly in the American response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. President Bush has invoked his authority as Commander in Chief as a basis for detention of American citizens captured on domestic soil, a program for eavesdropping on communications from domestic sources, the establishment of military commissions in Guantanamo, and decisions to classify information. In view of the persistence of the invocation of the Commander-in-Chief Clause, the scope, impact, and dynamics of this source of the President's constitutional power merits sustained treatment. This conference will bring together leading constitutional scholars and historians to discuss the proper scope of the President's domestic Commander-in-Chief authority.

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