Congress Courts & Litigation

Rational Security: The “We Can Finally Stop Talking About Kevin” Edition

Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson, Molly E. Reynolds
Thursday, October 5, 2023, 12:00 PM
This week, Alan Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, and Scott Anderson were once again joined by Congress guru Molly Reynolds to discuss the week’s big national security news

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were once again joined by Congress guru Molly Reynolds to discuss the week’s big national security news, including:

  • “Master of the House, Doling out the Harm, Ready with a Handshake and a Face Palm.” Over the weekend, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy narrowly avoided a government shutdown. But this week it cost him his speakership, as Democrats joined a bloc of far-right Republicans to vote in favor of a motion to vacate the office. What does this say about the state of the House? And what does it mean for the Biden administration’s legislative agenda moving forward?
  • “Serving Life to 20.” As the Supreme Court begins its new term under increased scrutiny for ethical lapses, several members of Congress have once again introduced legislation that would impose 18-year term limits on the Court’s members. But would this proposal fix the problem? And is it constitutional?
  • “A Foreign Confluence Operation.” Washington has been in a tizzy this week with scandalizing reports of an Iranian influence operation that purportedly sought to influence U.S. policy through several prominent scholars of Iranian descent—some of whom now serve in the Biden administration or are close to beleaguered Iran Special Envoy Rob O’Malley, whose security clearance is currently suspended. What should we make of this story? 


For object lessons, Alan gave a shout-out to the most recent incarnation of Dune and its soon-to-be-forthcoming sequel. Quinta urged listeners to check out the book “Your Face Belongs to Us,” the creepy-yet-true story of the growth of facial recognition technology and the rise of the start-up that sold it worldwide. And Scott recommended his favorite seasonal cookbook as we get into the cold weather months: Anna Thomas’s “Love Soup.”

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.
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.
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.
Molly Reynolds is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. She studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes.

Subscribe to Lawfare