War Powers Resolution

Latest in War Powers Resolution

Yemen

The Senate Acts on Yemen

Yesterday, on Dec. 13, the Senate made history. By a vote of 56-41, it adopted S.J. Res. 54, a bipartisan joint resolution that directs U.S. forces to withdraw from “hostilities” in Yemen not related to al-Qaeda within 30 days of enactment—a move that, its supporters maintain, will end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition currently waging a military campaign against Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Executive Power

The Syria War Powers Memo: Why It Matters

Last Friday, Feb. 9, Sen. Tim Kaine asked the Trump administration to turn over a legal memo prepared by administration lawyers in connection with the April 2017 missile strikes directed at Syrian regime forces. The existence of that memo came to light in response to a freedom of information lawsuit filed by our organization, Protect Democracy.

Executive Power

Summary: Lawsuit to Release the Legal Justification of Syria Airstrikes

Earlier this month, Quinta Jurecic noted a suit filed by the nonprofit Protect Democracy under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain the Trump administration’s legal justification behind U.S. airstrikes in Syria during April 2017. This post summarizes the ongoing battle over the release, in particular, of a legal memorandum (and related documents) provided to the National Security Advisor on the legality of the administration’s missile strike.

Executive Power

Documents: FOIA Suit on the Legal Basis of Syrian Airstrikes

In May 2017, the nonprofit Protect Democracy filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the Trump administration's legal justification behind the U.S. airstrikes in Syria during April of that year. The litigation produced proof of a seven-page legal memo analyzing the legal basis for the strikes, which the Justice Department has not yet released.

Executive Power

What’s the Legal Basis for the Syria Strikes? The Administration Must Acknowledge Limits on its Power to Start a War

Just over a month ago, the Administration launched missile strikes against the Assad regime in Syria. The strikes followed a brutal chemical attack that killed scores of innocent civilians. We are all disturbed by Bashar al-Assad’s horrific attacks on his own citizens. But that cannot obscure the question of what the President’s legal authority was for the missile strikes, or whether he usurped power that belongs to Congress.

War Powers

A Response to the Government's Brief in Capt. Smith v. Obama

The government has just filed its brief responding to Captain Smith’s challenge to the president’s unilateral war against ISIS. The government’s lengthy brief cites more than eighty judicial decisions, but fails to mention the Steel Seizure Case – where Justice Jackson explained that, even in matters of national security, presidential power is at “its lowest ebb” when the commander-in-chief violates express Congressional statutes.

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