Executive Power and the Defense of the Nation


the war powers resolution is this complicated framework whereby the president can decide to commit
military forces in an emergency but then he has to go back to congress etcetera etcetera which has been criticized by many scholars as too complicated and unwieldy but the
basic premise was to reaffirm the constitutional notion which is
written into the constitution that the congress declares war the president’s commander in chief but the congress
declares war and this administration vice president cheney
and the lawyers who he hired to work for him have long taken the position that the defense of the nation was a matter to
be decided by the president in secret that %uh it’s not a totally new position because his father for example in the case of the first %uh gulf war when the congress did finally vote to authorize
the invasion of kuwait and the repelling of iraq told the congress that should the congress
disapprove that military action their view was that they
had the constitutional power to commit u_s_ forces anyway but this this administration has gone much further in trying to institutionalize that view of presidential power not just in the question of going to war but
in lots of other related questions and certainly since nine
eleven they’ve taken the position that the united states
is in such danger that only the president can decide these issues and by the way he is entitled to do so in secret
secret from the congress and secret from the public this excerpt is brought to you by the massachusetts school
of law
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