Marshall University’s Amicus Curiae Lecture Series continues at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, at Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall with a lecture by David J. Barron, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. His lecture is titled “Waging War: When Congress and the Commander in Chief Clash,” and the event is free and open to the public.
Barron will explore the history of the United States’ Commanders in Chief and Congress battling over the power to wage war, going back even before the colonies became a nation and continuing to the present. Based on his research and his own experiences as a legal adviser in the U.S. Department of Justice on national security matters, Barron will discuss how presidents and those who have advised them have proved adept, with rare exception, at avoiding constitutional crises by waging war on terms even reluctant or hostile Congresses can accept.
“Judge Barron brings a deep knowledge of history and law, as well as personal experience at the highest levels of the judicial and executive branches, to his discussion of a very relevant topic,” said Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy. “He is also an entertaining writer and speaker who will deliver a thought-provoking presentation to our audience. We are very fortunate to have him in the Series.”
Barron joined the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2014, and before that served as the S. William Green Professor at Harvard Law School, which he joined in 1999. Barron served in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1996 to 1999 and as acting head of the office from 2009 to 2010. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Barron holds a bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor from Harvard University. His book, Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS, won the William E. Colby Award in 2017. The award is given annually by Norwich University to a first solo work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs.
This lecture is sponsored by Marshall’s Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council.