Criminal Justice & the Rule of Law Executive Branch

Lawfare Daily: David Pozen on ‘The Constitution of the War on Drugs’

Jack Goldsmith, David Pozen, Jen Patja
Friday, May 10, 2024, 8:00 AM
Discussing how the relationship between the drug war and the Constitution

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David Pozen is the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the author of the new book, “The Constitution of the War on Drugs,” which examines the relationship between the Constitution and drug prohibitions. He joined Jack Goldsmith to talk about the constitutional history of the war on drugs and why the drug war was not curbed by constitutional doctrines about personal autonomy, limits on the federal government’s power, the Equal Protection Clause, or the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. They also talked about whether the political process is working with advancing decriminalization and how this impacts the constitutional dimension of the drug war.

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Jack Goldsmith is the Learned Hand Professor at Harvard Law School, co-founder of Lawfare, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Before coming to Harvard, Professor Goldsmith served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel from 2003-2004, and Special Counsel to the Department of Defense from 2002-2003.
David Pozen is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where he teaches and writes about constitutional law, national security law, and information law, among other topics. For the 2017-2018 academic year, Pozen is the inaugural visiting scholar at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.

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