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Was the Manhattan Project Unconstitutional?

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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5 Responses

  1. Calvino says:

    Your first sentence makes me wonder:

    Are you a real peach at cocktail parties?

  2. Mike Stern says:

    “As far as I know, the Manhattan Project was the first case where military spending was concealed, though I’m not certain.”

    I am not sure what this means. Are you suggesting that, during say the Civil War, there would have been a published list of all military operations (payments for spies, sabotage, etc) or weapons that were being developed? This seems highly unlikely to me. Though I don’t know either. I do know that the intelligence budget was concealed for many years, but its not like the spending was off budget. It was just placed in the larger Pentagon spending so that no one could know exactly how much was spent on intelligence activities.

  3. Gerard Magliocca says:

    No–I’m referring to some general statement. The Manhattan Project didn’t show up in any form in the budget. No budget item need be discussed in great detail to satisfy the constitutional requirement.

  4. Joe says:

    What was the cost of the Manhattan Project? Where did the money come from?

    The provision would be rather weak if the “statement” rule could be honored simply by giving a lump sum amount such “the army spent 10 million last year,” but how fine we have to be would be a more complicated matter.

  5. Studying Law says:

    Great post! Been reading a lot about different cases like this. Thanks for the info!