The Lawfare Podcast: 2020 Candidates and Executive Power

Jen Patja, Jack Goldsmith, Charlie Savage, Justin Florence
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
Brookings

As the 2020 race heats up, candidates spar over healthcare, immigration reform, affordable housing, and criminal justice issues. Unfortunately, substantive discussions about the candidates' views on executive power are seldom on the agenda. Since the 2008 election, the New York Time’s Charlie Savage has helped rescue the significance of questions of executive power. Savage surveys presidential candidates on a range of executive power questions and publishes their responses. This year, he presented candidates with questions about presidential war powers, military force against American citizens, presidential obstruction of justice, and more. Jack Goldsmith talked with Savage and Justin Florence of Protect Democracy about the history of the executive power survey, the value of the questionnaire, and the takeaways from responses to this year’s questions.



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.
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.
Charlie Savage is a Washington correspondent for the New York Times and has been covering post-9/11 legal-policy issues since 2003. He is the author of the books "Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency" and "Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy." He was the recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.
Justin Florence is the Legal Director of Protect Democracy, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to strengthening and defending our democratic laws, norms, and institutions. He previously served in the Office of the White House Counsel as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President. Justin also worked for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse as Senior Counsel on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Outside of his service in government, Justin has also worked in private practice, most recently at Ropes & Gray LLP, and previously at O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Justin also served as a Fellow at the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law, as well as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Diana Gribbon Motz on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Justin graduated from Yale Law School, where he was Executive Editor of The Yale Law Journal.

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