Claire Finkelstein discusses “dereliction of duty” accusations

Articles of impeachment submitted by Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert cite concerns over President Biden’s handling of immigration and border issues, namely “dereliction of duty” and “abuse of power.” CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein told The Hill the term “dereliction of duty” is somewhat contrived and not tied to traditional notions of presidential impeachment. Claire Finkelstein is […]

New UN report documents conditions at U.S. prison in Cuba

A new UN report details the cruel treatment of detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. CERL Advisory Council member Mark Fallon is quoted in a World Is One News article explaining findings from and reactions to the report. Mark Fallon spent over three decades as a national security professional, principally as a […]

Trump trial likely to face delays

The criminal trial involving former President Donald Trump’s mishandling of classified documents is tentatively scheduled for August 14, 2023. CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein told The Irish Times the trial is unlikely to move swiftly. Other indictments could delay the process, and Trump may run his own interference. Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of […]

SCOTUS rejection of “independent state legislature” theory

In a 6-to-3 majority, the Supreme Court rejected a legal theory that would give state legislatures largely unrestricted power over federal elections. CERL Executive Board Member Stuart Gerson discusses this ruling and others in a blog post for Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. Stuart Gerson is Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, former […]

CERL Executive Director discusses intelligence assessments of COVID origins

CERL Executive Director David Joanson joined This Week in Virology, a podcast on the sciences hosted by Professor Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University, to discuss the COVID origins debate. In conversation with Professors Susan Weiss, Rick Bushman, and Gigi Gronvall, Joanson explained how the intelligence community analyzes national security incidents and cases in which China […]

Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, MD appointed to lead APPA

CERL Executive Board Member Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Stephen N. Xenakis, M.D., has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the American Psychedelic Practitioners Association (APPA). The organization supports the safe integration of “psychedelic-assisted therapy” into the health care system in the United States. Brig. Gen. Xenakis is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist with […]

Gauging support for heritage reconstruction efforts in Mosul, Iraq

In a co-authored piece for The Conversation, CERL Affiliated Faculty Lynn Meskell discusses findings from a survey gauging how residents across Mosul feel about the reconstruction of heritage sites that were destroyed by the Islamic State. Lynn Meskell is Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and Department of City and Regional […]

Kermit Roosevelt reflects on Juneteenth’s history

June 19 marks the anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States when Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas with news of the Emancipation Proclamation. Penn Today discussed the holiday’s history with Profs. Mary Frances Berry and Kermit Roosevelt of CERL’s Affiliated Faculty, who feature in a new documentary produced by the Annenberg Public Policy […]

Legal experts weigh in on Trump’s obstruction of justice charges

Former president Donald Trump and his aide Walter Nauta face a number of federal charges, among them obstruction of justice. CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein told ABC News the federal government treats obstruction allegations seriously, particularly when it comes to reinforcing that no one is above the law. Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of […]

CERL welcomes 2023 summer interns

CERL is pleased to welcome 13 students and recent graduates as part of its Summer Internship Program. Through the program, students actively advance CERL’s mission to preserve and promote the rule of law and ethics in national security, warfare, and democratic governance. CERL interns work in teams to help plan upcoming CERL conferences and symposia, […]

Proof of taking the oath of office is not a constitutional requirement

A video circulating on social media incorrectly claims that officials in the Biden administration have not taken their oaths of office and therefore are serving illegitimately. APPC’s explains why the video’s claims, and a petition on which they are based, are false, citing commentary from CERL Affiliated Faculty Kermit Roosevelt. Kermit Roosevelt works in […]

Lawfire features April conference on super soldiers

In a feature of Lawfire, Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap Jr., USAD (Ret.), profiles CERL’s conference on super soldiers that was held in partnership with the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in April of this past academic year. Maj. Gen. Dunlap, the former deputy judge advocate general of the United […]

Should Biden consider a Plan B when it comes to the debt ceiling crisis?

CERL Affiliated Faculty Eric Orts spoke with The Andrea Mitchell Center Podcast about the debt ceiling crisis. In a conversation with Matthew Berkman, Prof. Orts expresses concern about Republican brinksmanship and urges Biden to consider executive actions that could prevent ruinous outcomes such as financial panic or a recession. Eric Orts is the Guardsmark Professor […]

CERL hosts delegation of legal professionals on State Department exchange program

CERL was pleased to host last week a delegation of legal professionals from Europe and the Central Asian Caucuses who traveled to the United States on a State Department-sponsored exchange to learn about investigating human rights violations and wartime atrocities. The visit was organized by Citizen Diplomacy International of Philadelphia in connection with the U.S. […]

Prof. Ewald receives Penn Carey Law School teaching award

CERL Affiliated Faculty William Ewald is among six Penn Carey Law School faculty members who received teaching awards for the 2022-2023 academic year. Join us in congratulating Prof. Ewald for receiving the LLM Award for Teaching Excellence! William Ewald is an internationally recognized scholar in legal philosophy and comparative law. He is the author of […]

CERL celebrates 10 years of educating students, professionals, and the public

We are pleased to release the 2021-22 Annual Report, celebrating CERL’s accomplishments and milestones over the course of the last academic year and since its founding in 2012. For the past 10 years, CERL has been at the cutting edge of efforts to analyze U.S. national security practices for their fidelity to rule of law […]

Examining public sentiment in cultural heritage sites

As part of a Penn Global Engagement Fund project grant, conducted in collaboration with Vit Henisz of the Wharton School, CERL Affiliated Faculty Lynn Meskell examined public sentiment in every UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed since 1990. What she found is that popular notions of these sites are often at odds with how international organizations […]

Opinion: The FISA Section 702 Debate Intensifies

With Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) set to expire on Dec. 31, 2023, this is a critical year for the foreign intelligence collection program. In his latest for Lawfare, CERL Advisory Council member George Croner explores how the balance between national security imperatives and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of […]

Takeaways from the just-released Durham report

John Durham’s report about the FBI’s investigation into alleged ties between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia yielded little in the way of new information, according to CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein on Al Jazeera yesterday discussing the more than 300-page report. Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at […]

The COVID Origins Debate

Penn's Susan Weiss speaks to audience

The COVID origins debate has raised many questions of critical importance for U.S. and global national security policy. In partnership with the Annenberg Public Policy Center, CERL held a panel in which scientists, national security professionals, and journalists addressed the COVID origins debate as well as the broader national security stakes and bioethical implications of gain-of-function […]

Wagner threats show “disarray” of Russian military operations

The head of private Russian military group Wagner has threatened to pull out of Bakhmut, Ukraine, citing ammunition shortages and high casualties. This ultimatum is the latest in an ongoing rift between the mercenary group and Russia’s military chiefs. CERL Executive Board Emeritus James Clapper joined CNN to discuss. Lt. Gen. Clapper (ret.) is an […]

Why ethics matters in Philadelphia’s mayoral race

Controversy in Philly’s mayoral race is bringing increased attention to the importance of ethics in public life. An article for The Philadelphia Citizen cites a “state-of-the-art ethics plan” released by candidate Allan Domb with the help of CERL’s Prof. Claire Finkelstein. Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at […]

Opinion: Iron Dome Is Not Enough to Make Israel Safe

Recent attacks against Israel emanating from its northern borders with Lebanon and Syria indicate a different kind of threat. In a new opinion for Newsweek, CERL Advisory Council member Geoffrey S. Corn explains how a missile campaign from Hezbollah-controlled areas could overwhelm Israel’s missile defense system, Iron Dome, and pose a grave danger to civilians […]

Effective interviewing is “tradecraft not stagecraft”

Testifying before the Colorado Legislature, CERL Advisory Council member Mark Fallon urged a ban on lying to juveniles during interrogation, outlining the dangers of employing deceptive interview tactics instead of science-based methods. Mark Fallon spent over three decades as a national security professional, principally as a special agent with NCIS. He has conducted interrogations in […]

Stopping false confessions starts with improving interviewing tactics

False confessions played a role in about one-quarter of all wrongful convictions overturned through DNA testing, according to a paper by the Innocence Project. Yet current Connecticut law allows police to lie to children during interrogations to extract confessions that may be false. CERL Advisory Council member Mark Fallon is working with the Innocence Project […]

Real issue in Pentagon leak is not access but reliance on personal trust

CERL Executive Board Emeritus James Clapper joined CNN to discuss what we know about the 21-year-old Pentagon leak suspect and how these egregious violations can be prevented. Lt. Gen. Clapper (ret.) is an emeritus member of the CERL Executive Board. He served from 2010 – 2017 as the Director of National Intelligence. In that position, […]

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Real issue in Pentagon leak is not access but reliance on personal trust