nationalsecuritylaw the end of the National Security Law listserv

Dear friends and colleagues,

You may have noticed that I’ve stopped circulating clips announcing developments in recent terrorism-related cases.

I’m sorry about that, and regret to report that I’m shutting down the ol’ listserv after much more than a decade in operation.

No action needed on your part. You just won’t get further emails from me. Or, I should say, you won’t often get them; I’ll keep the system in place in case it somehow becomes useful again in the future.

Meanwhile, I should underscore that I’m not turning my attention away from national security law. Rather the opposite.

On the scholarship side, I’m drawing close at last to finishing the manuscript of the book I’ve been writing for many years now. It’s a history of how the law has developed over time in relation to the power of the state to kill or detain in the name of national security, starting in (not kidding) the late Roman Empire and running to September 11, 2001. It’s been a genuine labor of love, and I’m deeply excited to hear what others think of it. Indeed, I’ll probably send a note out via this listserve sometime next spring, with more information about the publication date.

As for the daily deluge of national security legal news? I still obsess over all of it, and have three ways I try to share it all:

1. The weekly podcast that I co-host with my colleague and friend here at UT, Steve Vladeck. Every week, we record an hour-long review of the latest national security law news (periodically including snapshots of terrorism-related case developments). We sometimes agree, but often debate; we think it’s important to show how people can debate these issues with respect and admiration from one another, and try to model that. Oh, I should admit: we’re quick to digress, and insist on maintaining a happy tone that sometimes is a bit incongruous with the subject. Some say we’re like Car Talk, but with national security topics and no callers. The show is creatively entitled “The National Security Law Podcast,” and you can access through its homepage here (, iTunes here (, and all sorts of other places. We’ve got about 7500 weekly listeners at this point, and would love for you to give it a shot (and spread the word to others).

2. Lawfare ( What Ben Wittes, Jack Goldsmith, and I started long ago has grown…bigger. Lawfare is not going anywhere, and you can find me writing there on all the classic national security law issues – and, increasingly, on cybersecurity issues – every week.

3. Last, you might also find my Twitter feed somewhat useful (or perhaps somewhat annoying). I’m @bobbychesney, and I do use it 90% for national security news/commentary.

Well, that’s all. Thanks for being on the other side of these emails all these years. It’s been fun, and I hope you’ve found it useful! (Sincere apologies to those who’ve only joined recently and didn’t get any use from it!)

Signing off,


Robert Chesney (website)

James Baker Chair and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs | The University of Texas School of Law

Director | The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law (website)

512.232.1298 | Twitter: @bobbychesney | Blog: | Scholarship: SSRN page

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