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Rational Security: The “Norpett Returns” Edition

Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Natalie K. Orpett, Jen Patja
Thursday, July 27, 2023, 12:00 PM
This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by the long absent Lawfare Executive Editor Natalie Orpett to talk through the week’s big national security news stories.

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This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by the long absent Lawfare Executive Editor Natalie Orpett to talk through the week’s big national security news stories, including:

  • “Next Fear in Jerusalem.” This week, Israel’s Knesset voted to abolish the “reasonableness doctrine” that had allowed its courts to review administrative decisions by the executive branch—a revolutionary move that triggered unprecedented protest around the country and a wave of resignations throughout the armed forces and other corners of the country. What is the significance of this change? And what does it mean for the future of Israeli democracy?
  • “Rio Grandstanding.” The Biden administration sued the state of Texas this week for installing barriers across the Rio Grande river, purportedly to stymie the flow of unlawful immigration. Texas, meanwhile, maintains that it has the right to take these measures as part of its sovereign authority as a state. Who has the better of these arguments, and what does it tell us about the state of the law and politics surrounding immigration in the United States?
  • “Gone Fishing.” Despite months of revelations regarding ethical shortcomings by its members, the Supreme Court has thus far resisted efforts to install stronger accountability mechanisms. But earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted a measure (along party lines) that would force the Court to do so by directing it to adopt a Code of Ethics. Is this the right approach?

For object lessons, Alan recommended that other weekend blockbuster, the new Mission Impossible movie. Quinta gave her (slightly qualified) endorsement to the Barbie movie. Scott wholeheartedly recommended the true winner in this year’s weird movie sweepstakes, the Dungeons & Dragons movie. And Natalie broke the movie streak to join the chorus of praise for the Libby app (hooray public libraries!) and to endorse Mirasa baby clothes, both of which she found a new appreciation of on family leave.

Scott R. Anderson is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow in the National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School. He previously served as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State and as the legal advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Natalie Orpett is the executive editor of Lawfare and deputy general counsel of the Lawfare Institute. She was previously an attorney at the law firm Jenner & Block, where she focused on investigations and government controversies, and also maintained an active pro bono practice. She served as civilian counsel to a defendant in the Guantanamo Military Commissions for more than eight years. She also served as counsel to the National Security and Foreign Policy Legal Team of the Biden-Harris Transition Team.
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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