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United States: The Constitution 

View the Constitution in its original form, with explanations, Spanish (external link) or other languages (external link)

Constitutional Interpretation

Louis Fisher, “Interpreting the Constitution: More than What the Supreme Court Says,” Extensions, Fall 2008. (PDF, 108KB)

Statement by Louis Fisher, appearing before the House Committee on the Budget, “Line-Item Veto — Constitutional Issues,” June 8, 2006. (PDF, 236KB)

Statement by Louis Fisher, appearing before the House Committee on the Judiciary, “Congress, the Court, and the Constitution,” January 29, 1998. (PDF, 432KB)

Executive Privilege

Louis Fisher, “Judicial Interpretations of Egan,” November 13, 2009. (PDF, 234KB)

Louis Fisher, “Congressional Access to National Security Information: Precedents from the Washington Administration,” May 22, 2009. (PDF, 54KB)

Louis Fisher, "Congressional Access to National Security Information," 45 Harv. J. on Legis. 219 (2008). (PDF, 73KB)

Book: Louis Fisher, The Politics of Executive Privilege (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2004), 272 pp. 

Military Tribunals

Louis Fisher, “To Have and To Hold: Those in U.S. custody deserve reliable evidence,” Legal Times, March 16, 2009, pp. 38-39. (PDF, 108KB)

Review of Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials, by Kyndra Miller Rotunda (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2008), reviewed by Louis Fisher.

Louis Fisher, "Military Commissions: Problems of Authority and Practice," 24 Boston U. Int'l L. J. 15 (2006). (PDF, 154KB)

Louis Fisher, "Detention and Military Trial of Suspected Terrorists: Stretching Presidential Power," 2 J. Nat'l Sec. L. & Policy 1 (2006). (PDF, 229KB)

For book-length treatments of military tribunals, see Louis Fisher, Nazi Saboteurs on Trial: A Military Tribunal and American Law (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003) and Louis Fisher, Military Tribunals and Presidential Power: American Revolution to the War on Terrorism (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005).

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National Security Whistleblowers

Statement by Louis Fisher, appearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, “The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009,” May 14, 2009. (PDF, 124KB)

Presidential Inherent Powers

Statement by Louis Fisher presented to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for hearings on "Restoring the Rule of Law," September 16, 2008. (PDF, 67KB)

Louis Fisher, "Extraordinary Rendition: The Price of Secrecy," 57 Am. U. L. Rev. 1405 (2008). (PDF, 319KB)

Louis Fisher, "Treaty Negotiation: A Presidential Monopoly?," 38 Pres. Stud. Q. 144 (2008).  (PDF, 95KB)

Statement by Louis Fisher, appearing before the House Committee on the Judiciary, "Constitutional Limitations on Domestic Surveillance," June 7, 2007. (PDF, 111KB)

Louis Fisher, "Signing Statements: Constitutional and Practical Limits," 16 William & Mary Bill of Rights J. 183 (2007). (PDF, 179KB)

Louis Fisher, "Presidential Inherent Power: The 'Sole Organ' Doctrine," 37 Pres. Stud. Q. 139 (2007).  (PDF, 95KB)

Louis Fisher, "Invoking Inherent Powers: A Primer," 37 Pres. Stud. Q. 1 (2007).  (PDF, 124KB)

Louis Fisher, "The 'Sole Organ' Doctrine," August 2006, a paper prepared for the Law Library as part of a series of studies on presidential power in foreign relations.  (PDF, 334KB)

Presidential Signing Statements

An introduction to research on official pronouncements issued by the President at or near the time a bill is signed into law. Provides a topical guide to resources.

Louis Fisher, “Signing Statements: Constitutional and Practical Limits,” 16 William & Mary Bill of Rights J. 183 (2007). (PDF, 179KB)

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Second Amendment

United States: Gun Ownership and the Supreme Court, this guide and bibliography provides an introduction to the Second Amendment.

State Secrets Privilege

Louis Fisher, "Judges Need to Look," Legal Times, November 24, 2008, pp. 34-35. (PDF, 146KB)

Louis Fisher, "Secret Documents: Why Classify Legal Memos?," National Law Journal, July 14, 2008. (PDF, 126KB)

Statement by Louis Fisher, appearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, "Examining the State Secrets Privilege: Protecting National Security While Preserving Accountability," February 13, 2008. (PDF, 96KB)

Statement by Louis Fisher, presented to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary, "Reform of the State Secrets Privilege," January 29, 2008. (PDF, 68KB)

Louis Fisher, "The State Secrets Privilege: Relying on Reynolds," 122 Pol. Sci. Q. 385 (2007). (PDF, 151KB)

Louis Fisher, "People v. State: Security Secrets Must be Weighed Against American's Broader Interests," Legal Times, October 1, 2007, pp. 66-67. (PDF, 98KB)

For book-length treatment of the state secrets case and the Reynolds decision by the Supreme Court, see Louis Fisher, In The Name of National Security: Unchecked Presidential Power and the Reynolds Case (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2006).

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War Initiation

Louis Fisher, “When War Begins: Misleading Statements by Presidents,” 40 Pres. Stud. Q. 171 (2010).  (PDF, 95KB)

Louis Fisher, “The Mexican War and Lincoln’s ‘Spot Resolutions,’” August 18, 2009.  President James Polk advised Congress and the American people on May 11, 1846 that a military clash between U.S. and Mexican forces occurred on “American soil.” (PDF, 79KB)

Louis Fisher, “Destruction of the Maine (1898),” August 4, 2009.  After the explosion of the American battleship Maine on February 15, 1898, a naval board of inquiry determined that the blast resulted from a mine placed outside the ship. (PDF, 53KB)

Statement by Louis Fisher, appearing before the House Committee on the Judiciary, “The Executive Accountability Act of 2009,” July 27, 2009. (PDF, 76KB)

War Powers

Louis Fisher, "Scholarly Support for Presidential Wars," 35 Pres. Stud. Q. (2005). (PDF, 95KB)

"Presidential Power in National Security: A Guide to the President-Elect," by Louis Fisher, included among papers prepared for the White House Transition Project, 2008. (PDF, 500KB)

Louis Fisher, "To War or Not to War: That is Still the Question for Congress, not the President," Legal Times, March 10, 2008, pp. 44-45. (PDF, 94KB)

Louis Fisher, "Domestic Commander in Chief: Early Checks by Other Branches," 29 Cardozo L. Rev. 961 (2008).  (PDF, 235KB)

Statement by Louis Fisher, appearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, "Exercising Congress's Constitutional Power to End a War," January 30, 2007.  (PDF, 88KB)

Louis Fisher, "Lost Constitutional Moorings: Recovering the War Power," 81 Ind. L. Rev. 1199 (2006). (PDF, 430KB)

Louis Fisher, "Deciding on War Against Iraq: Institutional Failures," 118 Pol. Sci. Q. 389 (2003).  (PDF, 1.48MB)

Habeas Corpus and the War Powers of the President covers contemporary literature at Abraham Lincoln’s controversial balancing of civil liberties against the demands of war aims.  Most notoriously, he and his administration several times suspended the writ of habeas corpus, a writ by which prisoners can challenge the legality their detention, drawing the ire of political foes.

War Powers Resolution

Research and resource guide on the War Powers Resolution passed on November 7, 1973.  It includes an overview, Constitutional provisions, legislation, judicial, Congressional Hearings, Congressional Documents, books, journal articles and reports, and additional resources.

Louis Fisher, “The Baker-Christopher War Powers Commission”, 39 Pres. Stud. Q. 128 (2009). (PDF, 82KB)

Louis Fisher, "When the Shooting Starts", Legal Times, July 28, 2008, p. 44. (PDF, 117KB)

Statement by Louis Fisher, appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, "War Powers for the 21st Century: The Constitutional Perspective", April 10, 2008. (PDF, 48KB)

Louis Fisher, "Thomas F. Eagleton: A Model of Integrity," 52 St. Louis U. L. J. 97 (2007).  (PDF, 64KB)

Additional Constitutional Resources

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Last Updated: 07/24/2020