HLS faculty weigh in

HLS faculty weigh in

A selection of analyses and opinions from Harvard Law School experts.

Why Obama Hasn’t Closed Guantanamo Bay—and Probably Never Will

An op-ed by Jack Goldsmith. For months the Obama administration has raised the stakes on its seven-year pledge to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. In November three former senior Obama administration attorneys argued that the president had the constitutional power to ignore the legal restrictions Congress has placed on bringing dangerous detainees to the United States. Presidential aides suggested that the White House was taking the argument seriously. And then last week, in preview interviews for the President’s State of the Union address, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough put down a marker about Guantanamo.Continue Reading at Time »

Constitutional Cruz control

An op-ed by Laurence Tribe. There’s more than meets the eye in the ongoing dustup over whether Ted Cruz is eligible to serve as president, which under the Constitution comes down to whether he’s a “natural born citizen” despite his 1970 Canadian birth. Senator Cruz contends his eligibility is “settled” by naturalization laws Congress enacted long ago. But those laws didn’t address, much less resolve, the matter of presidential eligibility, and no Supreme Court decision in the past two centuries has ever done so. In truth, the constitutional definition of a “natural born citizen” is completely unsettled, as the most careful scholarship on the question has concluded. Needless to say, Cruz would never take Donald Trump’s advice to ask a court whether the Cruz definition is correct, because that would in effect confess doubt where Cruz claims there is certainty.Continue Reading at The Boston Globe »

Is Cruz ‘Natural Born’? Well … Maybe

An op-ed by Cass Sunstein. As just about everyone knows by now, Senator Ted Cruz was born in Canada, to a Cuban-born father and a mother who was a U.S. citizen. Cruz held Canadian citizenship for nearly all of his life, relinquishing it only in 2014, when he was planning to run for the presidency. Is he eligible to hold the office he seeks? This is a question of constitutional law, not of politics; it should be approached as such. Respected analysts have shown that the question is not simple to answer. The Constitution states that the president must be “natural born,” but doesn’t define that term. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue; if it did, it would find a murky history.Continue Reading at Bloomberg »

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