Saturday, June 09, 2007

What is Benjamin Wittes reading?

Benjamin Wittes is the latest contributor to Writers Read.

He is author of Starr: A Reassessment and Confirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times, a columnist for The New Republic online, a former editorial writer for the Washington Post, a contributing editor for The Atlantic Monthly, and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Part of his reply to my query about what he has been reading:
It's an eclectic mix actually. I read a steady diet of legal opinions, since I write almost exclusively about law. As we are coming up on the end of a Supreme Court term, I am spending a fair bit of time -- and will be spending more in the coming weeks -- keeping up with the institutional output of the courts.

I am also currently working on a book about the legal architecture of the war on terror. As a result, I have been reading the rather voluminous literature that has developed around that. Specifically, I've been reading the documentary compilations, The Torture Papers and The Torture Debate in America -- along with Joseph Margulies's recent book, Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power and John Yoo's two books on the war. I have a long stack of thematically-related literature to read, and I expect this will occupy most of my reading time for the next several months. The most interesting book on this general subject I have read recently is James F. Simon's Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney -- which deals with many of the same liberty-in-wartime themes Americans are fighting about now but as they played out during the Civil War. [read on]
Writers Read: Benjamin Wittes.

--Marshal Zeringue