August 18, 2006 National Security to be Topic of Louis Fisher Talk Sept. 11

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Louis Fisher, special assistant to the Law Librarian and a specialist in constitutional law, will discuss his new book, "In the Name of National Security: Unchecked Presidential Power and the Reynolds Case," at the Library of Congress at noon on Monday, Sept. 11, in the West Dining Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

A book signing will follow the presentation, which is part of the Books & Beyond author series sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Law Library is co-sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Fisher will be 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 will participate 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 recounts and reassesses the Reynolds story and its lasting effect on our society. He also explains how the case affected subsequent battles over executive-held information both within the courts and between Congress and the president.

Fisher began working in the Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress in 1970 and served as senior specialist in separation of powers from 1988 until he joined the Law Library in March 2006. He 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.

Established in 1977 as a public-private partnership, the Center for the Book uses the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books, reading and libraries. For information about its activities, national reading promotion networks and forthcoming book and literary events, visit

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.


PR 06-157
ISSN 0731-3527