TITLE: In the Name of National Security: Unchecked Presidential Power and the Reynolds Case
SPEAKER: Louis Fisher
EVENT DATE: 09/11/2006
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 56 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Louis Fisher, special assistant to the Law Librarian and a specialist in constitutional law, discussed his new book, "In the Name of National Security: Unchecked Presidential Power and the Reynolds Case."
Fisher was introduced by Steven Aftergood, the senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists and editor of the e-mail newsletter "Secrecy News." Both Fisher and Aftergood participated in a question-and-answer session following the presentation.
Published by the University Press of Kansas, "In the Name of National Security" draws on the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions to show how the 1953 U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States vs. Reynolds established a new precedent that allowed the executive branch to assert an all-encompassing "state secret privilege" as the basis for withholding information from public scrutiny. Fisher recounted and reassessed the Reynolds story and its lasting effect on our society. He also explained how the case affected subsequent battles over executive-held information both within the courts and between Congress and the president.
The opinions expressed by Mr. Fisher in his presentation on his book, "In the Name of National Security," are not necessarily those of the Library of Congress.
Speaker Biography: Louis Fisher is the author of more than a dozen books, including "Military Tribunals and Presidential Power: American Revolution and the War on Terrorism" (2005), which in 2006 won the Neustadt Book Award for the best reference book on the American presidency. Fisher, with Leonard W. Levy, edited the four-volume Encyclopedia of the American Presidency (1994). He received his doctorate in political science from the New School for Social Research in 1967.