One of the most exhilarating (and terrifying) things about teaching national security law is how thoroughly the field changes from year to year (and, lately, from month to month). To that end, I wanted to flag the 2015-16 Supplement to a pair of casebooks of which I’m one of the co-authors (along with Steve Dycus from Vermont Law School, Bill Banks from Syracuse, and Peter Raven-Hansen from George Washington). As the front matter indicates, this year’s version (ISBN: 978-1-4548-5916-1) includes nearly 500 pages of material updating the fifth edition of National Security Law (published in 2011), and the second edition of Counterterrorism Law (published in 2012), over two-thirds of which is new as compared to last year (we’ve had a busy summer). Although folks should check out the Table of Contents for complete details (and the Teacher’s Guide for how the new materials supplement or supplant what’s in the latest casebooks), some of the highlights of the 2015-16 Supplement include detailed treatments of (and teaching materials for):

  • The Executive Summary of the SSCI Report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program;
  • The updated Department of Defense Law of War Manual;
  • The Second Circuit’s May 7 decision in ACLU v. Clapper;
  • The Supreme Court’s June 8 decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry;
  • The D.C. Circuit’s June 12 decision in al Bahlul v. United States;
  • The Second Circuit’s June 17 decision in Turkmen v. Hasty;
  • Passage of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, and the FISA Court’s important interpretation thereof in a June 29 opinion;
  • The ongoing debate over the legal authorities for the use of military force against ISIL; and
  • The continuing litigation arising out of the continuing detention of non-citizens at Guantánamo, including the conditions thereof.

Needless to say, keeping abreast of the ever-expanding universe that is U.S. national security law and policy can be quite daunting. To that end, we very much hope that teachers and students alike find these materials both accessible and pedagogically useful. As always, we welcome any and all feedback about what we can do better in future supplements–and in the next editions of the casebooks (on which we’re already hard at work).