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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

2019 Constitution Day Lecture

hands behind prison bars

Event Details

Wilburn Auditorium
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
11:45 AM

Drescher Graduate Campus
Pepperdine University

Light refreshments will be served. 

For more information about this event, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu, or call 310.506.7490  

The Expansive Constitutional Authority Given POTUS in Recovering Americans Held Captive Abroad

Join the School of Public Policy for its annual Constitution Day lecture, this year featuring Ambassador Robert C. O'Brien, special presidential envoy hostage affairs at the US Department of State.

O'Brien will discuss the framework within which the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs works to secure the release of Americans held hostage by terrorists or unjustly detained by foreign governments. As he works to recover Americans held captive abroad, the President and his diplomats operate at the outer limits of presidential authority under the constitution. Although Congress has given the president wide latitude to recover captive Americans under the Hostage Act and other legislation, it is on this quintessentially foreign policy front where the President is largely free of the constitutional constraints imposed by the nondelegation doctrine.  O'Brien will illustrate why such broad authority is important by highlighting specific hostage rescues over the years.