Since it was revealed recently by the New York Times, the administration's previously secret NSA surveillance program has brought to the fore a number of novel and complex legal questions. Does the executive branch have inherent authority to conduct the program? What is Congress's authority to set limits on the executive branch? What role should the courts play? Cato Institute scholars Robert Levy and Roger Pilon Debate these issues.
Cato's executive vice president David Boaz has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism.
He is the author of Libertarianism: A Primer, described by the Los Angeles Times as "a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas," the editor of The Libertarian Reader, and coeditor of the Cato Handbook on Policy.
Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate.
He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABC's "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher", CNN's "Crossfire", NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and "All Things Considered", "John McLaughlin's One on One", Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media.
Robert A. Levy
Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies. Robert A. Levy is senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, which he joined in 1997 after 25 years in business. Levy clerked for Judge Royce C. Lamberth on the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and for Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He founded CDA Investment Technologies, a major provider of financial information and software, and was its CEO until 1991. A director of the Institute for Justice and a member of the board of visitors of the Federalist Society, he was also an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University from 1997 until 2004. His latest book is Shakedown: How Corporations, Government, and Trial Lawyers Abuse the Judicial Process. Levy's writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, National Review, and many other publications. He has also appeared on national radio and television programs like ABC's Nightline, CNN's Crossfire, Fox's The Oâ€™Reilly Factor, MSNBC's Hardball, and NBC's Today Show. Levy received his Ph.D. in business from the American University and his J.D. degree from the George Mason University School of Law.
Roger Pilon is the founder and director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies, which has become an important force in the national debate over constitutional interpretation and judicial philosophy. He is the publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review and is an adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University through The Fund for American Studies.
Prior to joining Cato, Pilon held five senior posts in the Reagan administration, including at State and Justice, and was a National Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. In 1989 the Bicentennial Commission presented him with its Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence in writing on the U.S. Constitution. In 2001 Columbia University's School of General Studies awarded him its Alumni Medal of Distinction.
Pilon lectures and debates at universities and law schools across the country and testifies often before Congress. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Legal Times, National Law Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Stanford Law & Policy Review, and elsewhere. He has appeared on ABC's Nightline, CBS's 60 Minutes II, Fox News Channel, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and other media.
Pilon holds a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law.
As a staunch opponent of the NSA Surveillance Program, I was heartened by the August 17th US District Court ruling that the program violates both the 4th ammendment and the FISA. However, appeals being mounted to the ruling as well as draft legislation currently in Congress threaten to allow the program to continue.