War Powers

The White House / Ben Balter (background)

Throughout history, presidents and congresses have jockeyed for control over war powers. Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the exclusive authority to declare war, while Article II names the President as “Commander in Chief” of the army, navy and militia. The jockeying reached a watershed moment of congressional assertiveness with the passage of the 1973 War Powers Act. Since then, however, presidential war-making power has been in a state of near-constant expansion—an expansion only accelerated by overseas counterterrorism actions and recent presidential military actions in Libya and Syria.

Latest in War Powers

Public Opinion

Law and Public Intuition on the Use of Force, Part 2: The Threat of Nuclear Weapons

We conducted a public opinion survey that found that Americans are sensitive to considerations of necessity, proportionality, and congressional authorization when evaluating whether the use of force is a justified response to a military threat from a foreign country. But what if the threat in question isn’t a conventional military one?

AUMF

A Fast Track to Nowhere: ‘Expedited Procedures’ and the New AUMF Proposal

The new draft AUMF promotes greater transparency and congressional involvement in deciding on the scope of U.S. counterterrorism operations, but it primarily serves to give Congress political leverage. As a legal matter, it leaves the president firmly in control.

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