Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr. and Aziz Huq

Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror

Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr., former chief council for the Frank Church Committee hearings, and Aziz Huq of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law discuss their book Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror, discuss the Church committee investigations of the late 70s and the abuses they found, how things are even worse now, the impotence of the U.S. Congress, how Bush has made our terrorism problem worse by torturing people and the false accusation that the Church Committee hearings somehow lead to September 11th.

MP3 here.(16:32)

In a distinguished legal career spanning four decades, Mr. Schwarz has shown a unique ability to combine the highest level of private practice with a series of critically important public service assignments. In every case, Mr. Schwarz has handled these responsibilities with his trademark grace and insight. He comes to the Center with a broad litigation record from Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he had been a partner since 1969. Mr. Schwarz left the firm twice, once to serve as chief counsel to the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activity (1975-1976), and again to serve as Corporation Counsel under New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch (1982-1986). In 1989, he chaired the commission that revised New York City’s charter. In addition to currently serving as senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, he chairs the New York City Campaign Finance Board, the Board of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Board of the Vera Institute of Justice.

Mr. Schwarz received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1957 and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1960, where he was an editor of the Law Review. After a year’s clerkship with Judge J. Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, he worked one year for the Nigerian government as Assistant Commissioner for Law Revision under a Ford Foundation grant.


Before joining the Brennan Center, Mr. Huq clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the October 2003 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States, and for Judge Robert D. Sack of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (2001-02). He graduated summa cum laude from both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1996), and Columbia Law School (2001). At Columbia, he was Essay and Review Editor of the Columbia Law Review, and received several academic awards, including the John Ordonneux Prize (given to the graduating student with the highest grade point average). He is published in the Columbia Law Review, the Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, the World Policy Journal and the New School’s Constellations Journal. He has written for Himal Southasian, Legal Times and the American Prospect, and appeared as a commentator on Democracy Now! and NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Before and during law school, Mr. Huq has also worked on human rights issues overseas in Guatemala and Cambodia. In 2002, he received a Columbia Law School Post-Graduate Human Rights Fellowship to work with the International Crisis Group studying constitutional reform in Afghanistan. He has since worked with ICG in Pakistan, and Nepal on legal and constitutional reform issues. He is co-writing a book on presidential power and national security, to be published in March 2007 by the New Press.