The opinion on the April 2018 airstrikes against Syrian chemical-weapons facilities follows straightforwardly from Obama-era legal opinions, including one we did not know about until today.
Latest in War Powers
The Senate has voted down a joint resolution that sought to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. But that doesn’t mean that the joint resolution didn’t serve its intended purpose.
Why the government should release the Syria War Powers memo.
The White House has provided a letter to Sen. Bob Corker detailing the Trump administration's legal analysis of the basis for airstrikes conducted in Syria in May and June 2017. The letter is available in full below.
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?
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) have sent a letter to President Trump requesting information on the administration's domestic legal justification for the recent airstrikes in Syria, "in particular an explanation of whether this action expands ... precedents for action under Article II." The letter is available here and below.
The government has just filed its brief responding to Captain Smith’s challenge to the president’s unilateral war against ISIS.
The Obama Administration’s Views on the Legality of Intervention in Syria Without Congressional or U.N. Security Council Support
The Obama administration's lawyers concluded that intervention in Syria aganist Assad would be lawful under domestic and international law. But whether they were right may matter less than that Clinton is leading the presidential polls and that her former State Department lawyer has robust views about the president’s power of unilateral humanitarian intervention.
Prompted by the “dissent memo” signed by 51 career State Department diplomats, several prominent law professors are debating the Obama administration's internal deliberations about the legality of intervention in Syria against Assad. But I don’t think the debate has perfectly reflected what my reporting showed.
Two important things are conspicuously missing from the “dissent channel” cable on Syria are any discussion of whether proposed steps would be effective, rather than deeply counterproductive, or whether the recommended use of force against Syria would be legal.