Jun 10, 2011

Obama now overtly defying the law (under the War Powers Act) as well as the Constitution.

From American Spectator by Jeffrey H. Anderson

With all due respect to Rich and to the Journal, the notion that presidents should decide when to initiate armed conflicts, while Congress should merely sit by or defund, is simply not the Founders’ understanding of the Constitution’s allocation of war powers — and it is a very dangerous notion to advance. As I have previously written,

The American Founders’ basic (and sensible) division of war powers under the Constitution is that Congress is empowered to decide whether to engage in war, and the president is empowered to decide how to carry out war once it has begun. The Constitution says, “The Congress shall have Power . . . To declare War,” and this was not intended to be merely a legal formality. Even Alexander Hamilton, the most ardent and forceful advocate of executive power in the founding era, said that Congress “can alone declare war, can alone actually transfer the nation from a state of Peace to a state of War.”

If military action must be undertaken with great “decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch,” then the president can reasonably claim legitimate constitutional authority to act. It would have made little sense, for example, for President Reagan to have asked Congress to authorize his airstrike against Libya in advance, given that it was a one-time strike that required the element of surprise and was not a precursor to a larger war. But Obama had enough time to ask the United Nations on Libya, and he therefore certainly had the time — and the constitutional obligation — to ask Congress. Some 80 days later, he still hasn’t asked for authorization and is now overtly defying the law (under the War Powers Act) as well as the Constitution.

None of this is to say that we should, or should not, be in Libya. It is simply to say that we should respect our constitutional forms....


Subvet said...

Our imperial Presidency continues to grow. And they thought Nixon was bad!

Rick said...

I know Subvet. He needs to be served, cuffed then tried. Biden has to relieve him of office. But no one wants to risk it. "It's only the Constitution; it's not hurting anyone.", they say. "He'll be out in 17 months." Everyone in DC is either a eunuch, a lapdog or a professional politician. There are no patriots or statemen - much less heroes. Boring isn't it? What tepid times we live in.

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