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Five years after September 11, 2001, America's response to that traumatic day has effectively turned the world of American public law upside down. Claiming that a global war on terror calls for an entirely new legal paradigm, the Bush Administration and its supporters have pressed for a revamped constitutional and international vision that champions the supremacy of both executive and American unilateralism. Recently, executive power advocates have even begun to claim that in a crisis, executive action validates itself. This Essay reviews this cycle of history and argument and describes what impels executive power in this direction. The Essay argues that the United States Supreme Court's landmark opinion in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld has begun setting the world of public law right and explains how Hamdan undermines scholarly claims of those who still urge the need for enhanced executive authority in national security affairs.
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