September 26, 2016

Patriots Debate: Contemporary Issues in National Security Law

Patriots Debate: Contemporary Issues in National Security

Edited by Harvey Rishikof, Stewart Baker and Bernard Horowitz

The original version of Patriot Debates presented oppositional essays which addressed the "Sunset" provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.

The goal of our second book remains the same-- to present two-sided analysis focusing on policy rather than personalities. Since most of the USAPA is no longer widely contested, this new volume features the next set of issues to "debate," including executive power, National Security Letters, targeted killing, and a range of cybersecurity topics. A number of the authors from the first edition have returned.


ABA Journal Featured Article

We are pleased that the ABA Journal has featured the debates in their monthly magazine.  The Journal introductions and articles are highlighted below.

*NEW* Part Eight

The October issue of the ABA Journal includes the eighth segment of their Patriots Debate series.

Take a look at the article--available now!

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Part Seven

The ABA Journal's September issue showcases the seventh installment of its Patriots Debate series. The ongoing series features the most pressing issues in national security law-- this month's article examines national security letters.

Read the article!

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Part Six

The sixth installment of the ABA Journal's series on select national security issues from Patriots Debate will be featured in the August issue.

The debate between George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr and Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, focuses on third-party information.

Take an early look at the article---available now!

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Part Five

The fifth installment of the Patriots Debate series, explores insider threats and homegrown terrorism, is featured in the July issue of the ABA Journal.

In conjunction with this installment, the Journal gives readers an inside look at the debate itself, which showcases essays by both Gordon Lederman (chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee) and Kate Martin (director of the nonprofit Center for National Security Studies).

Take a look at the fifth installment, available here!

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Part Four

Law professors Norman Abrams of UCLA and Christopher Slobogin of Vanderbilt contemplate questions relating to the interrogation of terrorism suspects.

The fourth installment of the ABA Journal's Patriots Debate series, which highlights important issues in national security law, is featured in the 2012 June issue of the Journal.

Article available here.

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Part Three

Former DHS policy secretary Stewart A. Baker and General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. (USAF-ret.) debate how the U.S. should confront the practical difficulties of winning a cyberwar. Read the full exchange in Patriots Debate: Contemporary Issues in National Security Law. The book is sponsored by the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security, which invited both writers to address the legal approach to cyberwar.

Read the article online.

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Part Two

Targeted Killing is Lawful if Conducted in Acordance with the Rule of Law

The April issue of the ABA Journal features the second installment in the ongoing series of debates taken from the Standing Committee publication-- Patriots Debate: Contemporary Issues in National Security Law.

The second debate, A Legal Framework for Targeted Killing, is conducted by Professors Amos Guiora and Monica Hakimi.  

Read the article online.

Read a brief summary of the debate.

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Part One

Patriots Debate: The Meaning of the Constitution in a Time of Terror

The February issue of the ABA Journal highlights Patriots Debate: Contemporary Issues in National Security Law...

This first debate addressing Executive Power and the War on Terrorism is between Dr. Louis Fisher and Professor John Yoo. The pair reviews executive power, contrasting the approaches of the Bush and Obama administrations.

Read the article online.


The American Bar Association's
Standing Committee on Law and National Security

"Patriots Debate is one of the best and most succinct compilations of the key issues in the national security arena I have read in a number of years. What makes it stand out is its bipartisan dialogue, intellectual rigor, timelines and readability. This is a must read for practitioners, policymakers, law students, media and the general public."

Robert "Bear" Bryant
Fmr. National Counterintelligence Executive
Office of the Director of National Intelligence

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To get your hands on a copy of Patriots Debate: Contemporary Issues in National Security Law, visit the ABA Web Store or mail a completed order form to:

The Standing Committee on Law and National Security
American Bar Association
1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

or, email completed forms to David Pulaski (

Order today!

Order Form | ABA Web Store



1. Executive Power

2. The Threat from Within: Homegrown Terrorism

3. Interrogations                               

4. The Data Question: Third Party Information

5. National Security Letters

6. Einstein 3.0

7. CALEA: What's Next?

8. Legal Frameworks for Targeted Killing

9. Cyberwar

10. Detention Policies


Thank you for visiting Patriots Debate online! We hope that you will find the site to be an intuitive and easy to use resource to stay informed and up-to-date on the debate.

What is Patriots Debate?