The ten chapters in this volume cover the major legal battlefronts of the War on Terror from Guantanamo to drones, with a focus on the constitutional implications of those new tools. The underlying theme is Fiss's concern for the offense done to the U.S. Constitution by the administrative and legislative branches of government in the name of public safety and the refusal of the judiciary to hold the government accountable. A War Like No Other will be an essential intellectual foundation for all concerned about constitutional rights and the law in a new age.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-20
- Reviewer: Staff
In 10 essays written between 2003 and 2011, Fiss (The Law as It Could Be), an emeritus professor of law at Yale, considers the proper balance between the U.S. constitution's protections and the War on Terror—what he calls the "war that knows no limits." Through the prism of his belief that the courts must protect the constitution's core democratic values, Fiss examines U.S. policies on the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, the rights of enemy combatants, the legality of the Iraq War, American use of torture and extraordinary rendition, wiretapping and intelligence gathering, and the targeted killing of enemy combatants. He concludes that the courts, Presidents Bush and Obama, and Congress have woefully failed to protect the values embedded in the constitution. Fiss's commentary can be judgmental, as when he labels a Supreme Court opinion on the rights of U.S. citizens accused of being enemy combatants "an act of judicial cowardice," but it's very convincing. Also, he presents an instructive and effective overview of the Israeli Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak and his work to balance the rule of law in the face of terror. Fiss's work is thought-provoking, though the writing is legalistic and presumes a basic knowledge of controlling legal principles. (June)