Legal Commentary: John Dean Archive

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MILITARY TRIBUNALS:
A LONG AND MOSTLY HONORABLE HISTORY

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses the historical use of military tribunals. Drawing his examples from the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and, especially, FDR's Presidency, Dean contends that these historical precedents should give us less concern about the use of tribunals to try suspected terrorists than many critics have suggested.
Friday, Dec. 07, 2001

THE CRITICS ARE WRONG:
WHY PRESIDENT BUSH'S DECISION TO BRING FOREIGN TERRORISTS TO JUSTICE BEFORE MILITARY TRIBUNALS SHOULD NOT OFFEND CIVIL LIBERTARIANS

FindLaw columnist and former Counsel to the President John Dean responds to critics who have claimed President Bush's recent executive order allowing foreign terrorists to be tried before military tribunals, not civil juries, is a serious infringement of civil liberties. Surveying legal and historical precedents, Dean contends that President Bush's measure is appropriate given that we are at war, and that the accusation that the tribunals will be kangaroo courts is both inaccurate and unfair.
Friday, Nov. 23, 2001

HIDING PAST AND PRESENT PRESIDENCIES:
THE PROBLEMS WITH BUSH'S EXECUTIVE ORDER BURYING PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses President George W. Bush's November 1 Executive Order narrowing the circumstances under which Presidential records can be disclosed. Dean takes issue with the legality of the order -- which may be well be invalidated in court, he predicts -- as well as with Bush's general penchant for secrecy.
Friday, Nov. 09, 2001

PRESIDENT BUSH'S NEW ROLE:
HOW SEPTEMBER 11TH TRANSFORMED THE PRESIDENT

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses playwright Arthur Miller's theory of Presidents as, in part, actors who give public performances. Dean employs the theory to explain why President Bush has seemed to be a different and better President since September 11 -- with his recent speech, press conference, and ground zero appearance far more effective than his performances in the three campaign debates.
Friday, Oct. 26, 2001

WHY MIDDLE EASTERN IMMIGRANTS ARE WORRIED:
REASONABLE FEARS, DIFFICULT LAW ENFORCEMENT PROBLEMS

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses the reasons Middle Eastern immigrants to the U.S. are worried after the September 11 attacks -- from racial profiling at airports, to broad new detention and deportation powers, to a history that includes not only Japanese internment camps but similar abuses towards Germans and Italians that we have only recently acknowledged, to post-September 11 hate crimes.
Friday, Oct. 12, 2001

BOOKS ON TERRORISM AND ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS
FindLaw columnist John Dean tells Writ readers where they can go for listings of books on terrorism, the Middle East, and Islamic Fundamentalists.
Wednesday, Oct. 03, 2001

APPROPRIATE JUSTICE FOR TERRORISTS:
USING MILITARY TRIBUNALS RATHER THAN CRIMINAL COURTS

FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean contends that this may be the time to use military tribunals, not civil juries, to try suspected terrorists. Drawing in part on the work of commentators Spencer J. Crona and Neal A. Richardson, Dean analyzes the relevant Supreme Court precedents, notes Chief Justice Rehnquist's view on the matter, and explains the advantages of military tribunals in cases like these.
Friday, Sep. 28, 2001

EXAMINING THE PRESIDENT'S POWERS TO FIGHT TERRORISM
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean provides a thorough discussion of the President's power to fight terrorism -- ranging from prior Presidents' actions, to constitutional debates about Presidential versus Congressional power, to international law sources that may come into play.
Friday, Sep. 14, 2001

THE TERMINATION DEBATE: CAN PRESIDENT BUSH END THE ABM TREATY WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL?
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses the controversy over the question whether the President can unilaterally terminate a treaty, or whether he needs the consent of the Senate (and possibly the House of Representatives) to do so. Canvassing both legal and historical precedents, Dean explores this intricate and important question, relevant now because of the possibility President Bush will try to end the ABM Treaty without Congress's agreement.
Friday, Aug. 31, 2001

RETHINKING THE SCARLET "H": IS IT FAIR TO CALL GARY CONDIT A HYPOCRITE?
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean takes issue with commentators' claim that Gary Condit is a hypocrite because, despite his own affair, he criticized President Clinton's behavior during the impeachment scandal. Dean contends that, viewed in their proper context, Condit's remarks about Clinton do not necessarily prove the critics' charge.
Friday, Aug. 17, 2001

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