This week Professors Chesney and Vladeck start with a close look at Smith v. Trump, a case that seeks a judicial ruling on whether the Islamic State really falls within the scope of the 2001 AUMF. The case presents standing and political-question doctrine issues, and will be argued soon before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. This leads into an update on ACLU v. Mattis (the attempt by ACLU to represent the still-unidentified US citizen held as an enemy combatant), as the court has issued an order to show cause (due Monday) why the government should not allow access-to-counsel at this stage. This is followed by an update on the Travel Ban litigation (giving rise to the title of this episode), and after that the upcoming Bowe Bergdahl sentencing (and, more to the point, the combination of Presidential commentary on the case and a statement from the White House emphasizing the importance of avoiding unlawful command influence). At that point, your hosts come back to AUMF-type issues, in relation to the recent ambush in Niger and subsequent talk about whether the government has kept Congress adequately informed about the geographic scope of its operations. Finally, they wrap with an overview of an obscure part of the pending National Defense Authorization Act bill, one dealing with the third-country effects of computer network operations. Well, that’s the last of the useful stuff. Stick around to the bitter end, and you’ll get an earful of NBA predictions too… (sigh).
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