The trial before a special military tribunal of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver of Osama bin Laden, is the first US war crimes tribunal since World War II.
Beyond serving as the opening of the controversial tribunals, Hamdan's detention and case have been at the center of one of the Supreme Court's most significant decisions on presidential power and the rule of law.
Jonathan Mahler joins the Council to discuss Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the legality of the tribunals at Guantánamo Bay, and the battle over presidential power- World Affairs Council of Northern California
David C. Kenny
Partner, Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP
Dave Kenny has for more than 30 years advised domestic and foreign financial institutions on regulatory, examination, credit, corporate and operational matters. His practice also includes international trade finance, transborder mergers and acquisitions, the securities and insurance activities of financial institutions, and new financial products and services.
Mr. Kenny has testified on international banking and financial services law before committees of the California State Legislature, and from 1986 to 1989 was retained by the California Bankers Association as principal consultant and draftsman for foreign and international banking law matters in connection with a proposed revision of aspects of California state banking law.
Mr. Kenny also represents nonfinancial institution clients in matters involving transnational commercial and business transactions and private and public international law. He serves as international counsel to Stanford University and represents other universities in foreign and international law matters. He has also been in charge of his law firm's office in Kuwait (1976) and Singapore (1979).
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Kenny served with the US Government in Panama and Ecuador and acted as a law clerk in the Legal Adviser's Office of the US Department of State.
Mr. Kenny has lectured on banking law and international law at the business and law schools of Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley and other universities. He has also lectured on US banking law at the head offices of more than 30 international banks in Asia and Europe.
Mr. Kenny has served as Chair of the San Francisco Bank Attorneys Association and is a member of the Financial Institutions Committee of the State Bar of California and of the California Bankers Association's State Governmental Relations Committee. He is also a member of the World Affairs Council of Northern California and of the International Diplomacy Council, and is a past president of the California Council for International Trade, the Stanford Alumni of San Francisco, and the Forest Hill Association.
He is admitted to practice of law in California.
Jonathan Mahler is the author of The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight over Presidential Power (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which grew out of an article he wrote in June 2004 for The New York Times Magazine. He is also the author of the best-selling book Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning, a 2004 New York Times Notable Book that was adapted as an eight-part dramatic miniseries for ESPN starring John Turturro. Mahler is a contributing writer for the Times Magazine, where he has written about everything from baseball to politics to religion. His work has appeared in a variety of other publications, including The New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, the New Republic and Slate.
Jonathan Mahler discusses the ramifications of the Supreme Court verdict in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which declared many of the actions of the Bush administration illegal for being beyond the scope of executive power.
Jonathan Mahler reflects on the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case and how it exposed the failure of Congress to fulfill its responsibility as a check against executive power. Instead it fell to the Supreme Court, which is neither elected by nor accountable to the public, to step in on behalf of the American people and reign in the Bush Administration.