Louis Fisher


Fisher, Louis. "Basic Principles of the War Power." Journal of National Security Law and Policy 5, no. 2 (2012): 319-337.

"The Framers of the U.S. Constitution assigned to Congress many of the powers of external affairs previously vested in the English king. That allocation of authority is central to America's democratic and constitutional system. When decisions about armed conflict, whether overt or covert, slip from the elected members of Congress, the principles of self-government and popular sovereignty are undermined.... Congress alone was given the constitutional authority to initiate war."

[Overviews/Legal/Topics/War Powers]

Fisher, Louis. "Congressional Access to National Security Information." Harvard Journal on Legislation 45, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 219-235.

From abstract: "Recent presidential administrations have invoked a broad executive privilege to justify withholding national security information from Congress and the courts. This Article argues that such a broad claim of privilege rests on a mischaracterization of the President's constitutional role. The author ... argues that Congress must have access to this information to effectively exercise its own powers with regard to war and national security. The Article proposes that Congress enact legislation giving the Judiciary access to this information so that it can properly enforce the separation of powers and vindicate individual rights."


Fisher, Louis. In the Name of National Security: Unchecked Presidential Power and the Reynolds Case. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2006.

Prados, I&NS 23.3 (Jun. 2008), declares that "[t]here is no study with comparable depth and dexterity on the whole question of the state secrets doctrine." The author's analysis of United States v. Reynolds (decided by the Supreme Court in 1953) "is exhaustive to a fault, but the result is quite valuable.... This book will be fascinating for legal scholars but a tough read for the rest of us."


Fisher, Louis. Nazi Saboteurs on Trial: A Military Tribunal and American Law. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2003.

Peake, Studies 48.4 (2004), notes that the author "emphasizes the legal aspects ... and characterizes the tribunal approach as ill-conceived."

For Doerries, JIH 6.2 (Winter 2006-2007), Fisher "presents a thoughtful collection of pros and cons on the question of trying persons before a military tribunal. The danger of an erosion of the constitutional rights of persons charged in the U.S. is evident, and categorization into citizens, non-citizens, legal aliens, illegal aliens, etc. does not really allay that concern.... The author's conclusion that 'the Nazi saboteur case represented an unwise and ill-conceived concentration of power in the executive branch' (p. 172) is one of several legal -- and political -- opinions in the ongoing debate."

[Overviews/Legal/Gen; WWII/Eur/Ger/Ops]

Fisher, Louis. "Review Essay: How to Avoid Iran-Contras." California Law Review 76 (1993): 919-929.



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