September 12, 2014

Cool eyes hallucinating at the constitutional lawprofs of war.

"Obama attacked from the left" is a tag of mine, and I'm applying it to this NYT op-ed by Yale conlawprof Bruce Ackerman: "Obama’s Betrayal of the Constitution." Dateline — ominously! — Berlin. Excerpt:
President Obama’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris....
That's a bold beginning, but it's actually weakened by seeming to open up a discussion of the need for a formal declaration of war, something that the United States hasn't had since WWII. But Ackerman proceeds to discuss the "authorization for the use of military force," which Congress gave to President Bush 3 days after the 9/11 attacks. That vote was practically unanimous.

Let me take a little detour of my own here. The "no" vote in 2001 was from Barbara Lee, who was called a "traitor" and a "communist" at the time, but whose words are strikingly prescient today.
She said we should be "careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target." She called the AUMF "a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the September 11 events — anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit."

Ironically, her warning didn't go far enough, since Obama is going after ISIS, which wasn't "involved" in the 9/11 attacks. Obama did connect ISIS to al Qaeda in his speech — "[ISIL] was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq... ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple" — and he did vaguely refer to the authorization to go after al Qaeda in the second paragraph of the speech, which expressly cites his power as Commander in Chief to protect the United States and then says:
Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country.  We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia.
He then connects ISIS — he calls it ISIL — to al Qaeda.

Now, let's get back to Professor Ackerman, who contends that the 2001 AUMF (which isn't the same thing as the authorization for the Iraq war) doesn't apply. Of course, as noted above, Obama didn't say it did. He only gestured at it, expecting some of us to accept that it's close enough, especially when augmented by his power as Commander in Chief. Ackerman says "it's preposterous" to think the old 2001 AUMF can "legalize" the new military action, but that's assuming that without express congressional approval, it's not legal. I think it's obvious that Obama wouldn't concede the illegality or the need for congressional authorization. The legal provision he expressly cites is Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution: "The President shall be Commander in Chief." Congress hasn't purported to authorize this specific action, but it hasn't disapproved it, and the 2001 authorization shows its general approval of this kind of action, an approval that has continued through many years as the war on terror popped up in various locations, so the strong version of presidential power envisions the President as having the authority to do what he deems necessary to protect the American people.

Now, the War Powers Resolution was designed to shore up the power of Congress. It was passed over presidential veto in 1973. It uses the word "hostilities" rather than "war," and demands that the President notify Congress and purports to require withdrawal if Congress doesn't authorize the action within 60 days. That is, Congress, recognizing its own terrible tendency toward passivity, tried to set things up so that its failure to act would force the President to stop doing something he had deemed necessary. Ackerman calculates the deadline as October 7th, but who's counting? Obama didn't mention the War Powers Resolution in his speech, and if a deadline falls in October and Congress doesn't hear it, does it make a sound?

Ackerman notes that Obama got away with ignoring the deadline in Libya:
[H]is lawyers argued that America’s supporting role in the NATO campaign was not substantial enough to quality as “hostilities” under the [War Powers R]esolution. This claim provoked howls in Congress and the legal community, but the death of the Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, took the steam out of the debate before it could be resolved.
Howls, eh? I know nothing of the law of howl, though I did see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked. Obama himself was a best mind of his generation of constitutional lawprofs, which wasn't the same generation as Ackerman's. I'm a constitutional lawprof just about exactly midway between Ackerman, 71, who is surely one of the best minds of his generation, and Obama, 53. I am only a halfway best mind, but at least I'm not starving hysterical naked, and I've been with the professors for a generation and a half, and I know that the Ackerman generation taught the Obama generation not to believe in the constraints of these legal texts.

What does "hostilities" within the meaning of the War Powers Act really mean? Whatever doesn't make the legal elite — the best mindshowl.
the best minds...
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war...

65 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Obama was always an anti-Constitutional Law Prof, because the USA that he was trained to despise is based on that founding Covenant.

He is our Ruler now. As Ruler he sees the Constitution as a talking point in a media game rigged by a professional liars corps.

cubanbob said...

Let me take a little detour of my own here. The "no" vote in 2001 was from Barbara Lee, who was called a "traitor" and a "communist" at the time, but whose words are strikingly prescient today. She said we should be "careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target." She called the AUMF "a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the September 11 events — anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit."

She was and still is an idiot, a communist and a traitor. War isn't a solo dance routine. The enemy is a dance partner as well. They also have a say on how long the war will last.

Hagar said...

A minor point, but it has been bugging me: Al Zarqawi's bunch was not an affiliate of bin Laden's al Qaeda, but an independent group that asked if they could use the al Qaeda name for fund raising, since bin Laden's al Qaeda had been sort of sidelined and was not using it much any more. Bin Laden was against it, because he disapproved of al Zarqawi who thought was giving Islam a bad name, but was prevailed upon to reluctantly go along.

Ann Althouse said...

"Obama was always an anti-Constitutional Law Prof…"

If you knew constitutional law professors like I know constitutional law professors, you wouldn't say that.

sean said...

Well, that's a little hyperbolic, to say that Obama was the best mind of his generation of Constitutional lawprofs. He isn't known as a Constitutional scholar at all. I don't think he has ever published anything scholarly. Even if he had been first in his class at Harvard (which he wasn't), that might make him the best mind of his generation of lawyers, but not of Constitutional lawprofs.

Henry said...

This claim provoked howls in Congress and the legal community...

Howl: You're wearing that hat? After all the magic I used to make your dress pretty?

Ann Althouse said...

"A minor point, but it has been bugging me: Al Zarqawi's bunch was not an affiliate of bin Laden's al Qaeda, but an independent group that asked if they could use the al Qaeda name for fund raising, since bin Laden's al Qaeda had been sort of sidelined and was not using it much any more...."

Obama made short work of that in his speech: "It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq…"

What was all that other stuff in the speech that this key point was supposed to be established with such minimal say-so.

Anyway, isn't it basic to the base (al Qaeda) that the action is dispersed and decentralized?

Ann Althouse said...

"He isn't known as a Constitutional scholar at all. I don't think he has ever published anything scholarly."

Ah, but that's the secret of being a constitutional scholar. I'd say he's the very best. The ultimate!

cubanbob said...

The amazing ability of leftist to deny reality is awesome. Acts of war are just that, acts of war and as such are war. Wars don't become wars when Congress formally recognizes a state that already exists. Wars become wars when acts of war are committed.

As much as I dislike Obama he doesn't need to go to Congress for authority to wage this war since Congress already gave it to Bush and since those wars have not been terminated Obama still has the Congressional authority to wage the war. To distinguish between Al Queda and ISIS is the same as parsing the difference between one Mafia family and other Mafia families while ignoring that ultimately are one and the same.

TreeJoe said...

Ann, I'm dissapointed you didn't take the time to represent both sides of this coin (Yet?).

The way that Obama is presenting it, what is the limit of his ability to authorize military force? He can conduct aerial bombings & special forces raids in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Algeria, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and Mali.

Many of these are simply not reported on and occur on and off over extended periods of time (years). They can target U.S. or Non-U.S. citizens. They can incur civilian fatalities and damage to civilian infrastructure.

By most accounts, these are terrorists targets - but frequently terrorists that are not directly tied to any attacks or planned attacks against the U.S.

The President is proclaiming, loudly, that he can basically authorize small-to-medium scale military activities against any target for any reason without congressional approval and that it is up to them to stop him.

I don't get it. Bush was considered a war monger and never went that far. Why is this acceptable?

The President is Commander in Chief - but for 4-8 years. Congress is supposed to have some level of deliberation over the direction this country wages war, so that a leader with 2 years left in Office isn't inherently capable of dragging us into a regional war against the representatives of the people...

It seems to me people are confusing what commander in chief means. It's how people are confusing the difference between the executor of the laws and the maker of the laws. They are meant to be two different groups....

Michael K said...

The "War Powers Act" was the Democrats trying to prevent Nixon from getting us out of Vietnam with any dignity left.

They succeeded.

Obama is different because he is a Democrat and a lefty one at that. That's OK. Only Republicans must be opposed and disgraced.

Hagar said...

Al Qaeda has become a general catch-all term, which is what is bugging me. Strictly speaking al Qaeda is only bin Laden's organization, the remnants of which presumably belongs to al Zawahiri, who seems to be struggling to be heard and considered relevant. I don't think he is, nor will be.

We are at war with something, but neither our government nor the MSM have done much to explain to us what that something is.
A beginning would be to get straight on which labels belong to which factions of this mess.

TreeJoe said...

The AUMF's general purpose is as follows, "That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

The President is making no such assertion here. And just because Qaeda split off into twenty seperate groups and one of those groups is rising to regional prominence does not suddenly make them into perps for 9/11.

...

I lean pretty solidly right, and I'm for taking on the Islamic State. But I can really understand how not forcing a President to make clear statements and strategies, with defined limits, is a terrible precedent to set. This is one of those cases.

Rob C said...

The really funny thing is back in July, Susan Rice was requesting that the Iraq AUMF be repealed (http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/235109249?access_key=key-iGB8BIgK4cxNeXtuFT41&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll).

Now they're busy saying that that covers their needs for launching attacks against ISIL?

The really ironic thing is that if Obama requested support, he'd get it. It would just be embarrassing for a bunch of Democrats to have to go on records supporting the request.

Bob Ellison said...

Whaddaya expect of Obama?

He's not going to say "I shall ask Congress to declare war on Islam."

The "global war on terror" was a mistaken concept since George W. Bush spoke of it. Terror is a tactic and maybe a strategy. It is not an enemy. War on drugs, war on poverty, war on terror.

Name the enemy and say that you intend to defeat it or subjugate it.

FleetUSA said...

I don't think Obama was ever a Con law "professor". His title was certainly a lower grade as he was just passing through to other jobs that his puppeteers were creating for him.

Also, I don't think he ever published a normal law review article which would be expected for a better title - or employment at all.

Skeptical Voter said...

Sweet loving Jesus! Did I just see our host call Barack Obama one of the best constitutional law professors of his generation?

It's like somebody dropped a tab of Oswald's LSD in my breakfast cereal. I must be hallucinating or else our host has been way deep in the sauce early in the morning.

Can she point me to a single published article by the Bamster? Has he shown any talent for legal scholarship? Oh yes he was Preezy of the Harvard Law Review--but apparently the Harvard Law Review never published even so much as a case note by Barack Obama.

As a "con law professor" Obama is a fraud; but that applies to so much else in his life as well.

MartyH said...

Less than four months ago the President was talking about repealing the very AUMF that he is using to justify the attacks against ISIL. Here is an excerpt from his May 23rd national security speech:

"The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core al-Qaida is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al-Qaida will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.

So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine and ultimately repeal the AUMF’s mandate..."

I guess that statement's expiration date has passed...

Link to full speech here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/president-obamas-may-23-speech-on-national-security-as-prepared-for-delivery/2013/05/23/02c35e30-c3b8-11e2-9fe2-6ee52d0eb7c1_story.html

FleetUSA said...

I don't think Obama was ever a Con law "professor". His title was certainly a lower grade as he was just passing through to other jobs that his puppeteers were creating for him.

Also, I don't think he ever published a normal law review article which would be expected for a better title - or employment at all.

David said...

Congress has exactly the amount of power Congress wants to have. With power comes responsibility, after all, and responsibility is bad for re-election.

cubanbob said...

TreeJoe said...
The AUMF's general purpose is as follows, "That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

The President is making no such assertion here. And just because Qaeda split off into twenty seperate groups and one of those groups is rising to regional prominence does not suddenly make them into perps for 9/11."

TeeJoe what is your point? The Germans had more than one armed force, a distinction without a difference when we declared war on Germany. The first place Allied troops landed in the European theater was in Vichy North Africa and we didn't declare war on France. We landed there because the Germans were nearby. Obama doesn't have to make such distinctions, these are the same combatant entities that attacked the US in 2001. Notice that these 'splinter' groups haven't stated that they are separate and have nothing to do with Al Aqaeda. Nor have these groups denied warring on the US or deny their intent to war on the US in the future. As I said before, war isn't a solo dance routine, the enemy is a dance partner as well and they also have a say on how long the dance will last. Now if you believe that Obama has too much latitude then the party to address your concerns is Congress since it has the power of the purse. All of the countries you mentioned, we have been militarily involved in those countries since 2001. It hasn't been a secret to the enemy nor has it been a secret to Congress or to anyone who has bothered to look in to it.

Big Mike said...

Ah, but that's the secret of being a constitutional scholar. I'd say he's the very best. The ultimate!

Every once in a while, Professor, I wonder about you.

DanTheMan said...

Justice:
1) Congress votes on an authorization to use military force against ISIL.

2) All 535 members vote "Present".

Robert Cook said...

"(Barbara Lee) was and still is an idiot, a communist and a traitor. War isn't a solo dance routine."

No, it's mass murder.

Lee is a rare credit to Congress, a rebuke to the rest of her colleagues, a reminder of what they are not and of what they are, (cowards and criminals).

Obama, if he had any decency or shame--Ha!--would give his Nobel Peace Prize to her.

Hagar said...

The "War on Terror" is a meaningless phrase. The Boston bombing was a "terrorist action" all right, but perpetrated by a pair of rather confused young men. With their complaints, they should have gone to bomb something somewhere in the Russian Federation. The United States is not a problem for the peoples of the Caucasus, and nobody here is suggesting we go to war with Dagestan over what these young fools did.


exhelodrvr1 said...

You voted for him.

The Drill SGT said...

GWOT?

the term banished by Obama?

well it's back...

The war that's not a war, just a multi-year counter-terrorist hunt..

a word of warning:

“Is it our responsibility to stop them?”

it is in our interest to destroy them.

Destroy, not just decimate the 10% who are the least dangerous.

“Never do an enemy a small injury.” If one is striking out at an opponent, one should make sure that the fatal blow is struck, successfully ending the confrontation. Machiavelli wrote that “the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”

David said...

"I've been with the professors for a generation and a half, and I know that the Ackerman generation taught the Obama generation not to believe in the constraints of these legal texts."

You held the hammer until near the end. The are reaping what they sowed.

Unknown said...

I think technically Obama was not a professor, but clearly he was a a con "law-professor".


says google (to "what does con mean"):

con
/kän/
informal
verb: con; 3rd person present: cons; past tense: conned; past participle: conned; gerund or present participle: conning

1. persuade (someone) to do or believe something, typically by use of a deception.
"I conned him into giving me your home number"

noun: con; plural noun: cons

1. an instance of deceiving or tricking someone.
"when depositors, realizing that the whole thing is a con, demand repayment"

David said...

David said...
Congress has exactly the amount of power Congress wants to have. With power comes responsibility, after all, and responsibility is bad for re-election.


Exactly my sentiments and sharply stated. The Davids know.

DanTheMan said...

>>Lee is a rare credit to Congress

I think you have just self-identified as a member of an *extremely* small minority.

That should give you pause. But won't.

damikesc said...

Notice that these 'splinter' groups haven't stated that they are separate and have nothing to do with Al Aqaeda.

AQ has specifically stated it is not aligned with ISIS.

TreeJoe said...

CubanBob,

"these are the same combatant entities that attacked the US in 2001."

Huh? No they aren't.

Let me phrase this in a different way: Germany was at war with us 70 years ago. If today there was a militaristic group in Germany conducting terrorism (possibly not even aimed at the U.S. at the moment), then by the same logic we should attack them where they live and not seek congressional approval.

Or, let's discuss Iran. They've made MORE statements about attacking us, at a governmental level, and there's plenty of evidence that their agents have worked to harm us directly. Does the President need congressional approval to wage war with Iran?

Listen, Congress is 95% idiots. But that is literally how it's always been. It was how it was when the Constitution was drafted, how it was when the WPA was passed, how it was when AUMF was passed....

Speaking of AUMF, that's pretty much an explicit admission by President and Congress that the President should seek out congressional approval to attack non-nation targets who have already harmed the U.S. directly - not even planning on it.

Yet here today we are attacking non-nation targets because they have been labelled a terrorist.

Like others have said, let's have a better definition of what our objective is and who the enemy is. T

Richard Dolan said...

"Howls, eh?"

Why not? That's what law amounts to when there is no forum to decide what it is or means, and then to impose consequences. It's not that there is never a clear answer, but that nothing follows whether the answer is clear or not. And given the players in these disputes (President v. Congress, with the Judiciary on the sidelines), partisanship is usually enough to befog what clarity there might otherwise be. And while the voters care a lot about issues of war and peace, these process concerns never seem to get much traction with them.

Whether you agree with him or not, Ackerman is always entertaining. I had him as a professor many years ago for two courses in law school. Not much has changed in 40 years.

gerry said...

He can conduct aerial bombings & special forces raids in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Algeria, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and Mali.

You forgot Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, if Walker is re-elected.

bgates said...

I'm a constitutional lawprof just about exactly midway between Ackerman, 71, who is surely one of the best minds of his generation, and Obama, 53. I am only a halfway best mind

That sounds about right - Ackerman is one of the best minds, you're halfway to being a best mind, and you're midway between Ackerman and Obama, so that puts Obama...right where he deserves to be.

show me one socialist success in world history said...

"Ah, but that's the secret of being a constitutional scholar. I'd say he's the very best. The ultimate!"

Would you please explain what you mean by that?

If you are referring to his withdrawal of America's military nose from places it shouldn't be, I can understand your point, even though I cannot agree with it.

His ability to negotiate the finer points of law defining executive and legislative actions seems to me much more a function of popular poll reading with an eye toward political benefit than insightful analysis.


Calling Obama "the very best, the ultimate constitutional law professor" is like calling Eric Holder the top law enforcement officer in the US. It is a true statement as far as it goes but they both have defiled the Constitution in many ways.

DanTheMan said...

Ackerman is a best mind, and Obama is, in his mind, best.

So they are equals.

Cedarford said...

FleetUSA said...
I don't think Obama was ever a Con law "professor". His title was certainly a lower grade as he was just passing through to other jobs that his puppeteers were creating for him.
===============
His puppeteers - give them their due , did a heckofa job. From Frank Marshall Davis to the 3 billionaire jewish families that control U of Chicago Board of Trustees, who kept Barry and Michelle in cushy little to no work sinecures.

Ann Althouse said...

Aphorisms need to absorbed slowly. I'm not going to undo my own work by rewriting my aphorisms so that all the internal workings show. That ruins the fun. Think about it.

grackle said...

… whose words are strikingly prescient today. She said we should be "careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target." She called the AUMF "a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the September 11 events — anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit.

I wonder what the prescient Barbara Lee in 2001 would have done instead? Tack on a time limit to the resolution? Limit the war to specific geographic locations? 3000 Americans had just been ruthlessly murdered. At the time we expected more attacks would soon follow. We had no assurance at the time that rogue nations other than Afghanistan were not involved.

I would also submit that whether "long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests" are threatened by the resolution is highly debatable and secondary to ensuring the safety of Americans. The first duty of any President is to protect us, after all.

And isn't her "exit strategy" just a euphemism for 'withdrawal date?' Personally, I'm not big on withdrawal dates. Did FDR have a withdrawal date/exit strategy for US troops in WW2? My history books say nothing about any "exit strategy," a term that apparently became popular in the 1990's. The Right started using it first to criticize then-President Clinton. The Left took it up after a Republican was elected President. Either way, to me it was and is meaningless. It sounds good but it is never really defined.

Ironically, her warning didn't go far enough, since Obama is going after ISIS, which wasn't "involved" in the 9/11 attacks.

Puzzling. Perhaps I'm misreading. Don't go after ISIS? Just leave them alone and hope for the best? Or is it a new resolution specific to ISIS that's called for?

A new, ISIS-specific resolution, is pretty much politically impossible right now. Liberals in Congress would never allow it – THEM, voting FOR a war? Especially a return to Iraq, a war started by the hated Bushitler? Not gonna happen …

FullMoon said...

This is why I love this blog. After reading everything here I feel more enlightened and ignorant all at once.
Hmm, Enlightened Ignorance? I think I like that.

Hagar said...

Speaking of exit strategies and withdrawal dates, I believe we still have about 40,000 military personnel in Germany, 50,000 in Japan, and, of course, there are the 30,000 on the DMZ in Korea.

(I thought there was a lot more in Germany still. In my time, in the middle '50s, there were about 350,000 of us, I believe.)

Hagar said...

"The Cold War" with the Soviet Union is the longest war we have fought, I think; especially if one counts WWII as just the run-up to "The Cold War."

Otherwise, I think the active war with the Apaches from 1846 to 1886, when Geronimo surrendered, and officially I think, until 1913 when the last Chiricahua P.O.W's were released from Ft. Sill. And yes, they were considered P.O.W.'s

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Obama was always an anti-Constitutional Law Prof…"

If you knew constitutional law professors like I know constitutional law professors, you wouldn't say that.



Remember the "Bill of Negative Rights".

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

So the President himself says that ISIS was AQI... but he opposed fighting AQI during the surge in Iraq in 2007. If he'd had his way and we'd abandoned Iraq in 2007, ISIS would have happened many years ago.

Is anyone going to hold him accountable for allowing AQI/ISIS to take over so much territory after we'd beat them back?

George W. Bush had to send 150,000 troops to beat AQI in Iraq. Why does Obama think he can do it with only airstrikes?

David said...

FYI

Section 1 - Short Title
This joint resolution may be cited as the 'Authorization for Use of Military Force'.
Section 2 - Authorization For Use of United States Armed Forces
(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-
(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

What really irritates me is the George W. Bush deployed enough force (finally) to end the insurgency in Iraq and give the country a shot at peace, while Obama did everything he could to undermine that success. Now more people are dead because Obama could not admit that Bush did anything right.

Tens of thousands are dead because of the President's fit of pique.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

...and we're supposed to support the President after all this, when he did everything he could to undermine his predecessor.

Gah.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

So just what are the various AUMFs, if not declarations of war?


(Yes, this is my "... and you a law professor!" moment.)

Ambrose said...

Much is made about the fact that the US goes to war without a Congressional declaration - but I wonder (and I know I could check, but I'm lazy) has ANY country in the world issued a formal declaration of war since WWII.

Roy Lofquist said...

Quibble.

Ms. Althouse writes: "That's a bold beginning, but it's actually weakened by seeming to open up a discussion of the need for a formal declaration of war, something that the United States hasn't had since WWII."

The Constitution states: "To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;"

This clause does not specify the wording or form of such a declaration, as The Constitution does for the oath of office for the President: "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:".

I do believe that an authorization for the use of force can be construed as a declaration of war.

BarrySanders20 said...

Relax, folks. Althouse does not consider a law lecturer to be her professorial equal. He is not, in fact, a law professor.

By the way, we may just be

a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,

The Seventh Circuit just overturned Judge Adelman's finding that the Wiscosnin voter ID law was unconstitutional. Bring your drivers license to the polls this November.

Yacketayak!

Dan Hossley said...

Obama doesn't need authorization from Congress to make war on ISIS anymore than he needs a UN Resolution to attack Syria, a sovereign country, because he is special.

SenatorMark4 said...

Obama doesn't need to say or do anything because the strings that are pulling the feats only pass around him and his teleprompter. He really is the greatest ConLaw man and most stute president.

When you think of someone being dragged along by some principality, some legion of teleprompters, http://senatormark4.org/Alinsky5.htm you come to respect the power.

Hagar said...

I think it is more that he does not need anything from Congress because he is not really going to do anything.
Obama is a community organizer - a criticizer-in-chief- not a commander-in-chief.

Besides we are not at war, according to the administration spokesmen, and it is very difficult to say what it is they they think they are doing.

Obama said "we" will lead the effort to (whatever it is that will be done to ISIS), but we are only furnishing support to "our allies in the region," who will do all the heavy work.
Well, I cannot imagine any state anywhere taking orders from another state that is only "providing support." Can you?

I do not see how anything much can happen going our way with this kind of mealy-mouthed confusion!

Hagar said...

How can they command anything when they can't even put a name to what they want done?

khesanh0802 said...

@Marty H 1210

Very interesting quote. A man of strong principle : "whatever works"!

chillblaine said...

So the mission is to destroy ISIL, because they threaten people, including Americans? This is a morally ambiguous casus belli.

The President should ask for the AUMF to fight against Islamism, or Islamic supremacy. Explain why Western jurisprudence is superior to sharia law.

The moral clarity that is required will never be forthcoming because muslims are a protected class, and because our political class still behaves like lickspittle stooges of the house of saud.

RecChief said...

"Obama himself was a best mind of his generation of constitutional lawprofs, which wasn't the same generation as Ackerman's."

I thought it had been established that he wasn't a "professor" but an adjunct lecturer. Ok, let's say your description of him is correct, what significant articles regarding ConLaw of his were published? Since he was a "best mind" I would assume that he authored something regarding ConLaw.

Does your conceited description reveal the reason behind your vote for him? Did the realization that he is a lightweight (though not publicly admitted) lead you to disillusion?

Mark Caplan said...

On Sept 10, Obama told us he is launching a preemptive war just in case ISIL might someday decide to attack the United States:

"If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region — including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland...."

TDP said...

TreeJoe said...

" ... It seems to me people are confusing what commander in chief means. It's how people are confusing the difference between the executor of the laws and the maker of the laws. They are meant to be two different groups....
9/12/14, 11:54 AM "

And chief among those 'confused' people are the president and Congress.

Very good comment.

Naut Right said...

IF Islam is a religion of peace and radical Islamic terrorism is a tactic what is the strategy the tactic is designed to advance?
This: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/No-Rebound-In-Sight-For-Sliding-Oil-Prices.html. The worldwide price of gasoline will jump a dime whenever you combine a Coke bottle, a rag, a cup of gas, a match and a pissed off Nigerian. That dime adds to the coffers of the very countries fomenting terrorism. That dime deflates the FED created inflationary bubble so it won't explode.
Terrorism is a tactic that benefits all the sides dealing with it. Except you and me.

djf said...

Since when is Obama one of the "best minds of his generation" in constitutional law? What original insight is he known for? He didn't publish a single book or post-law school law review article. Let's not kid ourselves about the reason he got his position at Chicago law school. This is probably the most ridiculous statement I've seen at this blog.