Episode 117: Y’all Got Designated

April 13, 2019

Live episode!  We recorded this morning before a live audience at the University of Texas School of Law reunion weekend.  It was a packed house of terrific alumni, and happily the week’s news conspired (pardon the pun!) to give us plenty to discuss.  Tune in for a breakdown of:

  1. Julian Assange: An exploration of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act conspiracy charge, what this means in relation to long-standing concerns about a chilling effect on the media, how the charge unexpectedly avoids a statute of limitations problem, and what issues might arise with extradition.
  2. Yemen and the War Powers Resolution: S.J. Res. 7, compelling a withdrawal of U.S. forces from involvement in “hostilities” in relation to the Saudi coalition conflict with the Houthis in Yemen, is on its way to the president’s desk.  We parse the legal meaning of “hostilities” in general and in relation to the particular language of this bill, and ask whether this really is a bold moment from Congress or mere window-dressing.
  3. The Acting DHS Secretary: The switch in leadership at DHS last week proved to be a (temporary) mess because someone didn’t do their legal due diligence.  We explain what went wrong and how it got fixed.
  4. IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization: We explore the legal and practical significance of the State Department designating Iran’s Republican Guard Corp as an FTO, including the impact of  18 USC 2339B on companies abroad that might be doing business with the IRGC. We also note the much-less discussed fact that Treasury made an analogous sanctions decision, under IEEPA, already.  And then we draw attention to a bigger question: what does this action reveal about administration thinking regarding whether Iran plausibly can be said to be harboring al Qaeda for purposes of the 2001 AUMF?

Frivolity: Time for some harmony…today we debate the best musical duos and duets of all time.

Bonus: We also have some great Q&A, at the end, with the terrific alumni crowd.  Hook ’em!


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