How a dispute between Harry Truman and congressional skeptics established presidential authorities that are unquestioned today.
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The White House has released the following text of a letter sent to the speaker of the House and president pro tempore of the Senate to serve as notice of military engagement in Syria on April 13, consistent with Section 4(1) of the War Powers Resolution.
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
There is no apparent domestic or international legal authority for the airstrikes conducted in Syria on April 14.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. on "Using Force: Strategic, Political, and Legal Considerations." The committee will hear testimony from the following witnesses:
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?
The President's responsibility to explain the legal basis for military actions such as the Syria missile strikes, and the process used to formulate that legal basis, is dangerously undefined.
With six hours to spare before the 48-hour deadline in section 4 of the War Powers Resolution, the White House has sent the President's report to Congress on Thursday evening's missile attacks on Syria.
The text is here:
THE WHITE HOUSE
These kinds of advocacy lawsuits against the President in the national security arena often have perverse effects on the resulting law. The intent is generally to force constraints onto the executive branch, but the further along this lawsuit gets, the greater the risk it will result in less, rather than more, accountability and constraint on the Executive’s power.
Charlie Savage’s piece on the legal basis for the March 5 U.S. strike against an al Shabaab training camp, which allegedly killed 150 fighters, raises the intriguing question of whether the AUMF has been stretched yet again, this time to justify U.S. operations against al Shabaab as a whole.
Is the GWOT (Global War on Terrorism) coming back? Or did it never really end?