If the House of Representatives wished to resurrect the appropriations power as a check on unwanted presidential war-making, how might it go about doing so?
Latest in War Powers
Recent moves and countermoves by the U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf over the past few months have increased speculation about the prospect of war in the region. Some members of Congress, including a few Republicans, have stated that the president cannot use military force against the Islamic Republic without the approval of the legislature.
In the course of researching a book, I’ve come across many episodes that Benjamin Wittes and I like to call “Weird War Powers $h*t.” One of my favorites is a story about American constitutional war powers and actual $h*t. It’s a story about very expensive bird-$h*t, or guano, and how one of the 19th century’s most important thinkers on war powers nearly stumbled the nation, figuratively speaking, into a giant pile of it.
Daniel Webster and War Powers
On this date in 1854, the U.S. Navy bombarded and torched the town of Greytown, in present-day Nicaragua. The event gave rise to a federal court opinion by Justice Samuel Nelson favored by modern-day lawyers who believe that the president wields vast unilateral power to use military force. The story behind the case reveals much more about how presidential naval powers, as well as congressional checks, operated in the mid-19th century.
Durand v. Hollins
Following news that Iran shot down a U.S. Navy Global Hawk—an unmanned surveillance aircraft—the Trump administration came close to ordering a responsive set of airstrikes but ultimately elected not to do so. Then we learned (first from Yahoo!
For the past two months, the Middle East has teetered on the edge of war. Tensions over the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign have led Iran to target maritime shipping in the Persian Gulf, launch rockets on U.S.
On June 20, U.S. military officials confirmed media reports that Iranian military forces successfully shot down a U.S. drone in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf.
Tomorrow is an ignominious anniversary. On that date in 1961, about 1,400 American-trained Cuban exiles launched a secret invasion of Cuba in an effort to overthrow the Fidel Castro regime. After landing on the island’s southern coast at the Bay of Pigs, the invading guerrillas were routed by government forces. The humiliating disaster gave rise to a rare, publicly available Justice Department analysis of presidential power to wage covert war.
On this date in 1957, President Eisenhower signed into law perhaps the most open-ended force resolution in American history. It was never directly invoked, and it remains formally on the books to this day.
Eisenhower’s Request, Congress’s Response
Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) have introduced a bill that would revoke the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force in Iraq. The bill is below.