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Written Congressional Testimony of Fritz Schwarz

Brennan Center’s Senior Counsel Fritz Schwarz’s written testimony before the House of Representative’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law in a hearing on “Ensuring Executive Branch Accountability”

Published: March 30, 2007


Fritz Schwarz discusses the vital role of Congress in overseeing the activities of the executive branch.  He asserts that when this supervision is lacking, national security and law enforcement powers often are misused.  Mr. Schwarz presents the historical and current challenges to Congressional oversight and defends its responsible execution as an essential part of American government.

Mr. Schwarz’s testimony incorporates both his personal experience as Chief Counsel of the Church Committee, a position that required his investigation of the most sensitive workings of our national security during the Watergate era, as well as his knowledge gathered through the co-authorship of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror, and his years of public service.

 Read testimony here.

Mr. Schwarz comes to the Brennan 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 Board of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Board of the Vera Institute of Justice.