Saturday, June 18, 2011

Presidential War Powers

Harry Reid's a blithering idiot. I have no idea how he was ever elected to public office. It's not so much his position on the War Powers Resolution, but that it's at odds with his claim that the public wants the troops home from Afghanistan. Frankly, Americans are weary of overseas commitments altogether, but at least the Afghan deployment enjoyed broad bipartisan support to begin with, back in the day. With Libya, the administration took the easiest route to do something --- anything --- in North Africa and the Middle East amid the wave of revolutions taking place in the "Arab Spring." And there's been little public consensus on major U.S. role in Libya.

This guy sucks:

Unfortunately, a Ron Paul wing in the GOP is joining with the Dennis Kucinich Demo-nuts to push for action on the Resolution. A lot of folks in the right blogosphere have made something out of this as well, and it goes to the lack of vital national interests at stake, and that's understandable. That said, John Yoo's got a new piece up on the Commander-in-Chief's authority on the use of force, "The GOP Plays Politics With the War Powers Resolution," and Yoo's the man:

Congressional Republicans should not try to outdo Mr. Obama in a game of unprincipled one-upmanship. But that's precisely what key GOP leaders have done. Earlier this week, House Speaker John Boehner sent a letter to the White House accusing Mr. Obama of violating the War Powers Resolution. "The Constitution requires the president to 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed,'" he wrote, quoting the president's responsibilities under Article II of the Constitution. "And one of those laws is the War Powers Resolution, which requires an approving action by Congress or withdrawal within 90 days from the notification of a military operation."

Mr. Boehner's claim ignores the Constitution's fundamental nature as supreme law. As Chief Justice John Marshall declared in the foundational case of Marbury v. Madison (1803), the Constitution is "a superior paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means," and any act of Congress "contrary to the constitution is not law." If the Constitution gives the president the executive authority to use force abroad, Congress cannot take it away. Surely Mr. Boehner agreed with this proposition before the current president took office. He, for instance, never claimed that President George W. Bush's exercise of broad executive powers in the war on terror violated the Constitution. Nor does he appear to have thought that legislative authorization of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars was constitutionally necessary in 2001 and 2002.

Not to be outdone, House Republicans Roscoe Bartlett, Dan Burton, Howard Coble, John Duncan, Tim Johnson, Walter Jones and Ron Paul joined with Dennis Kucinich and other Democrats this week and filed suit in a D.C. federal court seeking to halt U.S. military operations in Libya. They may see themselves as purists, but they are not demonstrating fidelity to the Constitution by launching a legal effort that they know to be utterly futile ....

Added: See Allahpundit's write up on the New York Times' story, "NYT: Obama overruled top Pentagon, DOJ lawyers on Libya war powers" (via Memeorandum). And check JustOneMinute, "Obama Goes Shopping For Legal Advice." It's the hypocrisy that's stunning.


Anonymous said...

What Yoo misses is that the Constitution in fact does NOT give the President the right to use force abroad except for imminent defense and against fleeing enemies. Congress shall declare war.....

Read it.

Old Rebel said...

"Yoo's the man"?

The legal goon who argued the president has the power to torture children is "the man"?

Think Yoo would have approved how the Syrian government tortured a 13-year-old boy to death? After all, it was in the name of "national security."

And surely you're joking when you agree with this totalitarian that the president can launch wars at will? The Constitution clearly makes Congress the ultimate authority regarding the use of the military.