Article II

Latest in Article II

presidential warmaking

What Can a Secretive Funding Authority Tell Us About the Pentagon’s Use of Force Interpretations?

An obscure counterterrorism authority has been used to create and control proxy forces throughout the war on terror—its use across Africa and Asia points to broader interpretations of the 2001 AUMF and the president’s inherent authority to use force than previously disclosed.

Federal Law Enforcement

Defending Mueller’s Constitutional Analysis on Obstruction and Faithful Execution

The extent to which federal obstruction of justice statutes apply to the president, especially when concerning actions facially within the office’s powers under Article II, has been hotly contested at least since President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.

Executive Power

How Can the President Obstruct Justice?

Earlier today, Josh Blackman penned on this site a cogent piece arguing that a president cannot commit the crime of obstruction of justice using valid exercises of his Article II powers as president. There is a lot in Blackman’s article with which I agree, and I urge all readers inclined to race to the judgment that President Trump has obstructed justice to read it carefully. But I ultimately come to a different conclusion—at least theoretically.

Executive Power

Obstruction of Justice and the Presidency: Part I

President Donald Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, asserted that the “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.” In a follow-up interview, Dowd added that the president “has more power and discretion on


A Daisy Chain of Associated Forces? On the Potential Use of Force in Niger Against al-Mourabitoun

[Update: Several people reached out after I posted last night, drawing attention to the fact that al-Mourabitoun (also spelled al Murabitun) apparently reunited with AQIM after its initial separation from the group. On the other hand, others reached out to point to indications that the particular leader at the center of the current storm—al Sahraoui—may still lead a splinter faction that resisted/resists the return to the AQIM fold.


It's a Good Idea, but Congress Can’t Require the U.S. Navy to Make Port Calls in Taiwan

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted on Wednesday to send the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018 to the full Senate. The bill contains a provision “re-establishing regular ports of call by the U.S. Navy at Kaohsiung, or any other suitable ports in Taiwan and permits U.S. Pacific Command to receive ports of call by Taiwan.” If carried out, this provision would represent a dramatic shift in U.S. Taiwan policy.

War Powers

War Powers and the Su-22 Episode: Third-Party Defense of Coalition Partners

Early Sunday evening, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 that had just completed a bombing run targeting US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Raqqa region. The episode raises important questions under the U.N. Charter (see Adil Ahmad Haque’s analysis here). But what about U.S. domestic law?

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