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By Jack Fruchtman Jr | November 20, 1990
THE CURRENT DEBATE over whether the president should consult with Congress before beginning hostilities against Iraq is meaningless. The fact is that Congress will never again have another say about when America will go to war. Ever.This is startling, but true, given Congress' historic abdication of its authority outlined in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution: ''Congress shall have the power . . . To declare war.''Of all the times America has gone to war over the course of its history, there have been very few moments when the president went before a joint session of Congress and requested a formal declaration of war. The last time that happened was nearly 50 years ago after the Japanese attack on the American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor when President Roosevelt in a speech which still rings in our ears (''A day that will live in infamy'')
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NEWS
By Jonathan Schell | June 27, 2011
The Obama administration has come up with a remarkable justification for going to war against Libya without the congressional approval required by the Constitution and the War Powers Act of 1973. American planes are taking off, they are entering Libyan airspace, they are finding their targets, they are dropping bombs, and the bombs are killing and injuring people and destroying things. One can see this as a good war or a bad war, but surely it is a war. Nonetheless, the Obama administration insists it is not a war. Why?
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NEWS
August 7, 1994
President Clinton is correct in stating he is not constitutionally mandated to seek Congress' support should he decide to send U.S. forces into Haiti to overthrow its military junta. Even the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which has been repudiated by every president since its passage, does not require the prior approval demanded by Congress.This newspaper opposes an invasion of Haiti at this time for reasons that have been directly attributed to Defense Secretary William Perry -- namely, that the United States should continue to explore non-military means of ousting the illegal regime in Port au Prince rather than risk the lives of American soldiers.
NEWS
By Larry J. Sabato | October 21, 2007
The presidential candidates are offering prescriptions for everything from Iraq to health care, but listen closely: Their fixes are situational and incremental. Meanwhile, the underlying structural problems in American politics and government are systemic and prevent us from solving our most intractable challenges. If we really want to make progress and achieve greater fairness as a society, it is time for elemental change. And we should start by looking at the Constitution, with the goal of holding a new Constitutional Convention.
NEWS
By Fernando Goncalves and Fernando Goncalves,Washington Bureau of The Sun | November 21, 1990
WASHINGTON -- Forty-five House Democrats filed a lawsuit yesterday in U.S. District Court in an attempt to stop President Bush from unilaterally committing U.S. troops to a war with Iraq.The group, led by California Representative Ronald V. Dellums and including Maryland Representative Kweisi Mfume, sought an injunction to bar the president from using force to oust Iraq from Kuwait without authorization from Congress. The filing of the suit was the latest skirmish between the legislative and executive branches over who has the authority to commit troops to combat.
NEWS
By JOHN HART ELY | October 24, 1993
So now it's the Republicans who are talking peace and the Democrats who are peddling bogus constitutional law.Bob Dole, the Senate Republican leader, introduced a bill to prevent President Clinton from committing American forces to Haiti except for reasons of national security. Eventually, the president and Mr. Dole compromised on a non-binding resolution. But before that agreement, the administration's lawyers argued the bill was unconstitutional because it interferes with "the right of the president to make foreign policy."
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 27, 1999
WASHINGTON -- The air campaign in Yugoslavia has reignited debate in Congress over the War Powers Resolution -- the Vietnam-era legislation that gives lawmakers the power to halt a move by any president to launch military operations on his own.The issue will face a test today, when a key House committee is slated to vote on a pair of proposals -- filed under the War Powers Resolution -- to force a choice between a declaration of war by Congress and a...
NEWS
November 1, 1995
ANYONE WHO STILL believes partisan politics stops at the water's edge should consult three roll calls inscribed in the Congressional Record.The first occurred in mid-July 1973 when Congress was in the process of passing the War Powers Resolution over the veto of President Nixon. A reaction to Vietnam, the resolution was a legislative attempt to limit a president's authority to deploy U.S. forces overseas without congressional approval. No president since has considered the resolution constitutional.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 2, 2001
There are numerous questions but just one answer when it comes to the new measures adopted by the Bush administration that suspend normal criminal justice procedures to aid in the post-Sept. 11 investigation. Whether its why more than 600 people are in jail on unspecified charges, or why terrorist suspects will be tried in secret military tribunals rather than open court, or why federal agents may eavesdrop on conversations between the accused and their attorneys, the answer has been simple: Because we are at war. Extraordinary times may indeed require extraordinary measures, but a growing chorus of detractors representing a broad political spectrum is seeking a more complete answer for what it considers a dangerous infringement of civil liberties.
NEWS
January 8, 1991
Legislators, like generals, have a tendency to fight the last war when approaching a new one. This is the case with Congress, whose institutional memories of the Vietnam conflict have tempered and influenced its response to the potential conflict in the Persian Gulf.This week, as the diplomatic option enters endgame, the new 102nd Congress seems as determined to debate the use of offensive military force against Iraq as it is uncertain what it should do.There are doves who want to restrain President Bush from ordering American troops into action.
NEWS
By SIOBHAN GORMAN and SIOBHAN GORMAN,SUN REPORTER | January 20, 2006
WASHINGTON -- In its most detailed defense of the National Security Agency's secret domestic spying program, the Bush administration raised serious questions yesterday about the validity of the 1978 law that prohibits the NSA from eavesdropping in the United States without a court order. The Justice Department analysis, released hours after the broadcast of another warning from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, contends that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act stands on "fragile constitutional ground" because it limits presidential authority to obtain intelligence in wartime.
NEWS
By David G. Savage and David G. Savage,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 1, 2004
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court heads into the final month of its term today, set to render its first verdict on President Bush's handling of the war on terrorism. The court will hand down more than two dozen decisions in June, including whether the words "under God" should remain in the Pledge of Allegiance and whether pedestrians must identify themselves when police officers ask them to. But most legal scholars were focused on the series of cases that test the president's powers to hold suspected terrorists.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | September 23, 2002
WASHINGTON -- If the late Democratic Sens. Ernest Gruening of Alaska and Wayne Morse of Oregon could somehow read President Bush's proposed war resolution against Iraq, they'd undoubtedly spin in their graves. Mr. Morse and Mr. Gruening were the only two senators who voted in August 1964 against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that gave President Lyndon B. Johnson a blank check to wage war against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in Indochina in the midst of LBJ's re-election campaign.
NEWS
By Mona Charen | June 10, 2002
WASHINGTON - Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was not pleased with the president's speech at West Point, in which he outlined the necessity for pre-emption against nations or groups that threaten this country. "I think this is a predicate for an attack on Iraq," the perceptive Democrat explained, "and I'm very concerned about it. I think it would be a terrible mistake for the United States unilaterally to attack Iraq, and to do so without any congressional authorization." Eleven years ago, we had a similar debate, about the same enemy, with a president of the same name.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | May 3, 2002
WASHINGTON -- As President Bush accompanies his war on terrorism with saber-rattling toward Iraq, a few concerned members of Congress and peace activists continue to insist that he must go to Congress before taking military action against that country. But unlike the public protest against the use of American force in Vietnam, virtually none has been expressed over the notion that the president could act unilaterally against Saddam Hussein, confronting Congress with a fait accompli and leaving it with little recourse but to acquiesce.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | May 1, 2002
WASHINGTON -- The White House wasted no time the other day shooting down a front-page story in The New York Times saying the Bush administration is focusing on "a major air and ground invasion" of Iraq, probably "early next year," using from 70,000 to 250,000 American troops to drive Saddam Hussein from power. That the cautious Gray Lady played the story on page one caused considerable consternation among congressional figures who fear President Bush may undertake, without further congressional authority, the task he has often indicated he will carry out -- removing the Iraqi threat of using weapons of mass destruction.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | April 24, 2002
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's repeated statements that the United States will not tolerate the development or possession of "weapons of mass destruction" by Iraq has created a general expectation that sooner or later he intends to take direct military action against Saddam Hussein. He seems to be justifying such potential action in advance as a mere extension of his war on terrorism authorized by Congress only days after the Sept. 11 attacks. But that approval specified that the president could use force only against "nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks ... or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism" by them.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella and Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 2, 2001
There are numerous questions but just one answer when it comes to the new measures adopted by the Bush administration that suspend normal criminal justice procedures to aid in the post-Sept. 11 investigation. Whether its why more than 600 people are in jail on unspecified charges, or why terrorist suspects will be tried in secret military tribunals rather than open court, or why federal agents may eavesdrop on conversations between the accused and their attorneys, the answer has been simple: Because we are at war. Extraordinary times may indeed require extraordinary measures, but a growing chorus of detractors representing a broad political spectrum is seeking a more complete answer for what it considers a dangerous infringement of civil liberties.
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