War Powers Resolution: Syria

"The Legal Basis for Striking ISIS"

By Wells Bennett
Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 8:24 AM

That's the title of an hour-long panel discussion which will be held at noon on September 25, and hosted  by the Heritage Foundation's Cully Stimson.  He'll be joined by Dechert's Steve Bradbury, and our own Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck.  More details can be found here; the event's description is below.

As the Obama Administration lays out its strategic plan to degrade and destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), some members of Congress assert that the President should – and perhaps must – request an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) specific to ISIS. The President and his advisors have described ISIS as “an extremely dangerous organization,” and the campaign to defeat them may take years. On September 8, the President sent his seventh ISIS-related War Powers Resolution letter to Congress since June, and apparently will not ask Congress for an ISIS-specific AUMF anytime soon. Can or should the administration rely on the 2001 AUMF passed in response to the September 11 attacks to justify sustained military action against ISIS? Might the Iraq-specific AUMF enacted in 2002 provide such authority? Or are the President’s Article II powers alone legally sufficient to justify ongoing and future military operations against ISIS in Iraq and perhaps beyond?