David B. Rivkin, Jr., is an attorney, political writer, and media commentator on matters of constitutional and international law, as well as foreign and defense policy. Rivkin has gained national recognition as a representative of conservative viewpoints, frequently testifying before Congressional committees, and appearing as an analyst and commentator on a variety of television and radio stations. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for the National Interest, and a recipient of the U.S. Naval Proceedings Annual Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for the best maritime affairs article. He currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Center for Law and Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and is a former member of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
Rivkin is a former U.S. government official, having served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. In 2010, Rivkin took on his highest-profile case to date when he agreed to represent a multi-state lawsuit—currently consisting of 26 state attorneys general against health care reform legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama in March. The lawsuit, filed in the Federal Court's Northern District of Florida, argues the legislation is an "illegal expansion of Congress” regulation of interstate commerce and unfairly penalizes uninsured people who refuse to buy into the program". Rivkin is currently involved in two other high-profile cases: He is representing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a lawsuit by al Qaeda operative José Padilla, who claims he was tortured while in custody; Rivkin is also "helping craft legal strategy for the State of Texas as it fights federal proposals on health care and environmental regulation".
In May 2011, Rivkin was awarded a Burton Award for Legal Achievement for a Washington Post article he wrote with Lee A. Casey in February 2010 titled "Why the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy is doomed.”