Stewart A. Baker

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Stewart Baker’s career has spanned national security and law. He served as General Counsel of the National Security Agency, Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, and drafter of a report reforming the intelligence community after the Iraq War. His legal practice focuses on cyber security, CFIUS, export controls, government procurement, and immigration and regulation of international travel.

At Homeland Security, Stewart created and staffed the 250-person DHS Policy Directorate. He was responsible for policy analysis across the Department, as well as for the Department’s international affairs, strategic planning and relationships with law enforcement and public advisory committees.

From 2006-2009, Stewart led successful negotiations with European and Middle Eastern governments over travel data, privacy, visa waiver and related issues. In addition, he led the Department’s policy effort to reform federal immigration laws, and transformed the Department’s role in CFIUS, helping to drive the first rewrite of the CFIUS law and regulations in a generation.

When not in government, Stewart manages one of the nation’s premier technology law practices. Described by The Washington Post as “one of the most techno-literate lawyers around,” Stewart’s practice covers national security, electronic surveillance, law enforcement, export control encryption, and related technology issues.

He has been a key advisor on US export controls and on foreign import controls on technology. In 2010 Stewart’s policy memoir, Skating On Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism, was published by Hoover Press. He continues to comment on these topics at and the Volokh Conspiracy, and he hosts Steptoe’s Cyberlaw Podcast.

Stewart’s practice includes issues relating to government regulation of international trade in high-technology products, and advice and practice under the antidumping and countervailing duty laws of United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia.

He also counsels clients on issues involving foreign sovereign immunity, and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Stemming from his role at DHS, Stewart has a deep background in the international implications of US security policy – from the disputes over US collection of data from international businesses to the US statutory command that all containers being shipped to the US be scanned before leaving foreign ports.

Stewart has handled the arbitration of claims exceeding a billion dollars, is a member of national and international rosters of arbitrators, and is the author of articles and a book on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law arbitration rules.

Stewart has had a number of significant successes in appellate litigation and appearances before the United States Supreme Court. He developed, and persuaded the Court to adopt, a new theory of constitutional federalism that remains the most vibrant Tenth Amendment doctrine of the past 30 years.

In addition to having filed many Supreme Court and appellate briefs, Stewart was appointed by the Supreme Court to brief and argue Becker v. Montgomery and was recognized in the Court’s opinion for his “able” advocacy.

He founded the State and Local Legal Center, which represents state and local governments before the Court; and his writings on appellate and constitutional issues have been cited in various opinions of the Court. His brief opposing the federal government in New York v. United States, 488 US 1041 (1992), was described by Assistant Attorney General Walter Dellinger as “one of the most influential amicus briefs ever filed in the Supreme Court.”


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Steptoe & Johnson LLP can handle cases related to laws concerning Litigation, Internet Defamation, Privacy, Government. We manually verify each attorney’s practice areas before approving their profiles and reviews on our website.
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