Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts

Hardcover | January 18, 2007

byEric A. Posner, Adrian Vermeule

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In Terror in the Balance, Posner and Vermeule take on civil libertarians of both the left and the right, arguing that the government should be given wide latitude to adjust policy and liberties in the times of emergency. They emphasize the virtues of unilateral executive actions and argue formaking extensive powers available to the executive as warranted. The judiciary should neither second-guess security policy nor interfere on constitutional grounds. In order to protect citizens, government can and should use any legal instrument that is warranted under ordinary cost-benefit analysis.The value gained from the increase in security will exceed the losses from the decrease in liberty. At a time when the 'struggle against violent extremism' dominates the United States' agenda, this important and controversial work will spark discussion in the classroom and intellectual pressalike.

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In Terror in the Balance, Posner and Vermeule take on civil libertarians of both the left and the right, arguing that the government should be given wide latitude to adjust policy and liberties in the times of emergency. They emphasize the virtues of unilateral executive actions and argue formaking extensive powers available to the exe...

Eric A. Posner is Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law, University of Chicago. He co-authored The Limits of International Law and New Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis, authored Law and Social Norms, and edits the Journal of Legal Studies. Adrian Vermeule is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is the author of Judging under U...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 6.18 × 9.29 × 1.1 inPublished:January 18, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019531025X

ISBN - 13:9780195310252

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Constitutional Law and Theory1. Emergencies, Tradeoffs, and Deference2. The Panic Theory3. The Democratic Failure Theory4. The Ratchet Theory and Other Long-Run EffectsPart II: Applications5. Institutional Alternatives to Judicial Deference6. Coercive Interrogation7. Speech, Due Process, and Political Trials8. Military ForceConclusion: Emergency Powers and Lawyers' ExpertiseNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This book provides a powerfully argued counterpoint to the conventional wisdom that during time of war or emergency the U.S. democratic process operates poorly, and needs to be supervised by rights-enforcing courts. While some may see the book's call for judicial deference as an apologia forexecutive unilateralism, the authors' rigorous analysis will force civil libertarians to be more precise and sophisticated in their arguments, and public debate will surely benefit."--Curtis A. Bradley, Duke Law School