The Supreme Court in Times of Hot and Cold War: Learning from the Sounds of Silence for a War on Terrorism

Journal of Supreme Court History, Vol. 28, 2003

30 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2010

See all articles by Douglas W. Kmiec

Douglas W. Kmiec

Pepperdine University - Rick J. Caruso School of Law

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

Justice William J. Brennan once remarked that the Court has never fully developed a jurisprudence of national security. It is simply too episodic, he said. Our present Chief Justice would, it would seem, largely agree, though his own research shows some greater willingness for the Court to superintend - at least after the fact - the actions of the executive in times of war or similar crisis. In this essay, Professor Kmiec asks the question slightly differently; namely, has the posture of the Court differed in times of hot or cold war, and if so, how has it differed? That question is less helpful to our present circumstance than it might seem. Why? Because, frankly, we are in neither a hot nor cold war, but something quite different - something that has the potential to be not only hot, but blistering, and something which will likely never be fully appreciated as having gone truly cold.

Keywords: national security, constitutional law, war, executive power, presidential power

JEL Classification: K49

Suggested Citation

Kmiec, Douglas W., The Supreme Court in Times of Hot and Cold War: Learning from the Sounds of Silence for a War on Terrorism (2003). Journal of Supreme Court History, Vol. 28, 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1692880

Douglas W. Kmiec (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University - Rick J. Caruso School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States

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