Episode 50 of the National Security Law Podcast: The Big Chill

Are your other podcasts letting you down by taking a holiday break?  Never fear, National Security Law Podcast is here! With two hosts who would much rather be podcasting than grading exams, you are assured of an uninterrupted holiday stream of national security legal analysis, not to mention ill-informed takes on…movie soundtracks? Seems your hosts may have been in the eggnog a bit early this year.  But nevermind that, let’s get to the overview of what Episode 50 has to offer:

  1. A postmortem on the mixed verdict in the Abu Khattala (Benghazi) trial in late November: The jury acquitted on the most serious charges, but did convict on others.  What will this mean, if anything, for the long-running debate regarding disposition options for terrorism suspects?  And why did the trial turn out that way?
  2. The Presidential Transition Team emails produced to the Special Counsel by GSA: Beneath the political aspects, what are the constitutional, statutory, or other legal considerations that should inform this story?
  3. Still waiting… We’ve been waiting all year to find out what Congress will do with respect to Section 702 renewal, and it seems we will have to wait just a bit longer, for as of this morning there still was no action.  Meanwhile, the same is true about the pending motion for jurisdictional discovery in ACLU v. Mattis.  Chances are good both of those will see significant developments in the days ahead, so stay tuned for Episode 51 (which we are likely to record on Wednesday next week).

Of course, it wouldn’t be the National Security Law Podcast without a discussion of frivolous matters at the end.  This week’s topic: all-time great movie soundtracks.  We heard through the grapevine that this would be a contentious discussion…

Happy holidays to all!


About the Author(s)

Steve Vladeck

Co-Editor-in-Chief of Just Security and Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law. Follow him on Twitter (@steve_vladeck).