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September 11, 2002

Press Contact:
Jennifer Lamar, Asst. to Prof. Bobbitt, (512) 232-1090, Allegra Young, UT Law Communications, (512) 917-9159

Professor Philip C. Bobbitt Named to Continuity in Government Commission

Elite group will study how to reconstitute the U.S. government in case of catastrophic loss

Philip Chase Bobbitt
Bobbitt is an expert in national
security and constitutional theory.
Photo credit: Rick Patrick

AUSTIN, Texas - University of Texas School of Law Professor Philip Chase Bobbitt, the former senior director for strategic planning at the National Security Council, has been appointed to a commission of leading U.S. statesmen to study how to reconstitute the U.S. government in case of catastrophic loss. The commission will hold public hearings in Washington D.C. twice this fall and expects to release a report in January on the continuity of Congress and the Supreme Court. A second phase of the commission will address presidential succession.

The American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institution launched the commission to explore such issues as how the government might respond to the constitutional requirement that elections be held to fill vacant congressional seats in the event that the U.S. House of Representatives was unable to convene a quorum because large numbers of the legislature were incapacitated.

Bobbitt, whose recent book The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History has been highly praised in the international press, joins an elite group. U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter will serve as the honorary co-chairs, with former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson and presidential advisor and attorney Lloyd Cutler serving as the active co-chairs. Other members include former Speakers of the House Newt Gingrich and Tom Foley, Leon Panetta, who served most recently as President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff, former Republican Minority Leader Bob Michel and former Solicitor General Charles Fried.

Bobbitt holds the A.W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law and is one of the nation's leading constitutional theorists. His teaching and research range widely over issues in constitutional law and national security policy. He is the author of six books: Constitutional Interpretation, Democracy and Deterrence, U. S. Nuclear Strategy (with Freedman and Treverton), Constitutional Fate, Tragic Choices (with Calabresi), and The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History (Knopf, 2002).

Bobbitt is a member of the American Law Institute, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations. He received his Ph.D. in 1983 from Oxford University, his J.D. in 1975 from Yale University, and his A.B. in 1971 from Princeton University. He is a former trustee of Princeton.

The commission's work is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Related web site: The Continuity of Government Commission