War Powers Resolution

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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.

War Powers

The Obama WPR Letters, 2009-2015

President Obama has sent 39 letters to Congress “consistent with” the War Powers Resolution requirements. The letters are a fascinating read and provide a 30,000-foot view of the Administration’s use of military force abroad. The complete letters are linked below, but here is a brief analysis:

A Wider Battlefield

The reports reflect what appears to be a much wider battlefield today than in 2009.

War Powers Resolution

Have Presidents Denied the Constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution? Savage and Griffin Debate the Question

Just a quick note to draw attention to an interesting debate under way between Charlie Savage of the New York Times (and author of Power Wars) and Steve Griffin of Tulane (and author of Long Wars and the Constitution) r


The (Limited) Ground Combat Mission Spreads to Syria

[UPDATE: The Pentagon has released the transcript of a press briefing today, addressing the SOF deployment to Syria among other things. The DOD official explained that, for now, these operators will not accompany the units they assist when those units go into the field, in contrast to current policy for at least some circumstances in Iraq.

War Powers

President Obama Sends War Powers Letter to Congress Regarding 300 Troops Headed to Cameroon

Today, President Barack Obama sent a War Powers letter to Congress noting that as of October 12, 2015, approximately 90 U.S. Armed Forces personnel began deploying to Cameroon "with the consent of the Government of Cameroon." According to the letter, the deployment is in "furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests" consonant with Article II powers of the president.


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