William R. Casto, author of Advising the President: Attorney General Robert H. Jackson & Franklin D. Roosevelt

William R. Casto

Chautauqua Institution will be hosting William R. Casto, author of Advising the President: Attorney General Robert H. Jackson & Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 23, 2019 at 3:30pm in the Hall of Philosophy. Gate passes are required for this event.

About Professor Casto:

Professor Casto received his law degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a Doctor of the Science of Law degree from Columbia University. He joined the Texas Tech faculty in 1983 after practicing law for a number of years. He has written a number of well-received books and articles on international tort law and on the federal courts. The United States Supreme Court has frequently cited or relied upon his published scholarship. He is a member of the American Law Institute and holds a Paul Whitfield Horn Professorship, which is the highest honor that Texas Tech may bestow on a faculty member. He is currently writing a book on the process of providing legal advice in government.

He has written three well-received books: The Supreme Court in the Early Republic, Oliver Ellsworth and the Creation of the Federal Republic, and Foreign Affairs and the Constitution in the Age of Fighting Sail. Professor Casto has written articles on judicial review, foreign policy, and the relationship between religion and public life in the Founding Era.

-excerpt from Texas Tech University School of Law website.


About Advising the President:

President George W. Bush authorized the use of torture. President Barack Obama directed the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen in Yemen. What President Donald Trump will do remains to be seen, but it is broadly understood that a president might test the limits of the law in extraordinary circumstances—and does so with advice from legal counsel. Advising the President is an exploration of this process, viewed through the experience of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Robert H. Jackson on the eve of World War II. The book directly and honestly grapples with the ethical problems inherent in advising a president on actions of doubtful legality; eschewing partisan politics, it presents a practical, realistic model for rendering—and judging the propriety of—such advice.Jackson, who would go on to be the chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, was the US solicitor general from 1938–1940, US attorney general from 1940–1941, and U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1941–1954. William R. Casto uses his skill and insight as a legal historian to examine the legal arguments advanced by Roosevelt for controversial wartime policies such as illegal wiretapping and unlawful assistance to Great Britain, all of which were related to important issues of national security. Putting these episodes in political and legal context, Casto makes clear distinctions between what the adviser tells the president and what he tells others, including the public, and between advising the president and subsequently facilitating the president’s decision.

-excerpt from the Kansas University Press website.  Order a copy of the book here..