With the drone strike on accused terrorist and New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, President Obama has tested the limits of the executive branch's powers. Does the president have constitutional authority under the due process clause to kill U.S. citizens abroad, or is it a violation of this clause to unilaterally decide to target and kill Americans?
Presented in partnership with the National Constitution Center, the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed: the U.S. Constitution.
Professor Alan M. Dershowitz is a Brooklyn native and the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law (emeritus) at Harvard Law School. He has published more than 1000 articles in magazines, newspapers, journals and blogs such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, Huffington Post, Newsmax, Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz. He is the author of 32 fiction and non-fiction works, including six national bestsellers. His latest book is The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran from Getting Nukes?.
John Donvan is the moderator for "Intelligence Squared U.S." He is an author and correspondent for ABC News. He has hosted "Nightline," "World News," "Good Morning America," and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” in addition to producing “My Generation” for PBS. He has also served as ABC’s Chief White House correspondent and held postings in London, Jerusalem, Moscow and Amman. Recognized by the National Magazine Awards for his 2011 Atlantic profile piece “Autism’s First Child,” he is currently writing a book on the history of autism to be published by Crown in 2013.
Noah Feldman is the Bemis Professor of Law at Harvard University as well as a senior fellow of the Society of Fellows. A contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and Bloomberg View, he has authored five books and, most recently, co-authored Constitutional Law, Eighteenth Edition (2013). He served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of the Transitional Administrative Law or interim constitution. Previously, he served as a law clerk to Justice David H. Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court (1998-1999). He received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1992, finishing first in his class. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a D. Phil. in Islamic Thought from Oxford University and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as the book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Michael W. Lewis
Professor Lewis joined the Ohio Northern faculty in August, 2006. Lewis flew F-14's for the United States Navy in Operation Desert Shield, conducted strike planning for Desert Storm and was deployed to the Persian Gulf to enforce the no-fly zone over Iraq. He was a Topgun graduate in 1992 and was featured in a NOVA documentary on Topgun and aircraft carriers.
After his naval service, Lewis graduated from Harvard Law School, cum laude, was a management consultant with McKinsey and Company, and served as a litigation associate with McGuireWoods, LLP, in Norfolk, Virginia.
Professor Lewis has published more than a dozen articles and essays on various aspects of the law of war and the conflict between the US and al Qaeda. His work has been cited by the Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals. He has testified before Congress on the legality of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and on the civil liberties tradeoffs associated with trying some Al Qaeda members or terrorist suspects before military commissions. His op-eds have appeared in numerous media outlets including the LA Times and the New York Post and he has appeared on Public Radio International to discuss the increasing use of armed drones in warfare. He has delivered scores of presentations and panel presentations before military and law school audiences alike including presentations to the international Military Operations Law conference in Queensland, Australia, the US Army's JAG School in Charlottesville, VA and law school events at Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, Penn, Duke, Texas and Northwestern among others.
Professor Lewis received the Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching for the 2007-08 academic year.
He currently teaches Commercial Law, International Law, a Law of War Seminar and Torts. He has also taught Corporate Finance and Accounting for Lawyers. His other teaching interests include Civil Procedure and Contracts.
Hina Shamsi is director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project, which is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. counterterrorism policies and practices do not violate the Constitution or the United States’ obligations under international law. She is litigating the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. government’s killing of three U.S. citizens in Yemen in 2011. She has litigated numerous cases relating to post-9/11 torture, unlawful detention, discrimination against racial and religious minorities, and the freedoms of speech and association. Shamsi teaches a Columbia Law School course on international human rights, and has monitored and reported on the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. She previously directed Human Rights First's Law & Security Program, and also served as senior advisor to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions.
Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, argues that presidential orders to kill enemy citizens abroad go beyond the law. Law professor Michael Lewis claims that Pakistan cannot police some regions of the country so the U.S. has to.