- Slides: 23
Chapter 9 - War Powers Resolution
The War Powers Resolution n n Parse each provision of the War Powers Resolution - figure out what each part means and be prepared to explain it. What is the purpose of the Resolution? What is Congress claiming about its right to control presidential powers? When can the president use troops? What is the ambiguity in #3?
SECTION 3 [§ 1542]. CONSULTATION n The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and after every such introduction shall consult regularly with the Congress until United States Armed Forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been removed from such situations.
Consultation with Congress n n What does Congress want consultation to mean? What do presidents think it means?
SECTION 4 [§ 1543]. REPORTING REQUIREMENT n (a) In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced— (1) into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances; (2) into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces; or (3) in numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation; the President shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, in writing, setting forth— (A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United
Reporting - Continuing duty n n (b) The President shall provide such other information as the Congress may request in the fulfillment of its constitutional responsibilities with respect to committing the Nation to war and to the use of United States Armed Forces abroad. (c) Whenever United States Armed Forces are introduced into hostilities or into any situation described in subsection (a) of this section, the President shall, so long as such Armed Forces continue to be engaged in such hostilities or situation, report to the Congress periodically on the status of such hostilities or situation as well as on the scope and duration of such hostilities or situation, but in no event shall he report to the Congress less often than
Reporting n n n What triggers reporting? Who does the president report to? What must the report contain? Is this a continuing duty to report? What does Congress do with the report?
When Must the President Report? n n What is the clock that the report starts ticking? How long is it? What is supposed to happen if Congress does not act before the clock runs out? What tolls the clock, allowing the troops to stay?
SECTION 5 [§ 1544]. CONGRESSIONAL ACTION n (a) Each report submitted pursuant to section 1543(a)(1) of this title shall be transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate on the same calendar day. Each report so transmitted shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate for appropriate action. If, when the report is transmitted, the Congress has adjourned sine die or has adjourned for any period in excess of three calendar days, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, if they deem it advisable (or if petitioned by at least 30 percent of the membership of their respective Houses) shall jointly request the President to convene Congress in order that it may
SECTION 5 [§ 1544]. CONGRESSIONAL ACTION n (b) Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 1543(a)(1) of this title, whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or (3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixtyday period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of
SECTION 5 [§ 1544]. CONGRESSIONAL ACTION n (c) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, at any time that United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution. [Sections 6 & 7, §§ 1545 -1546, Congressional Priority Procedures for Joint Resolution or Bill, and for Concurrent Resolution, respectively, provide for expedited consideration of measures to approve the President’s actions under § 1544(b) or disapprove them under
SECTION 8 [§ 1547]. INTERPRETATION OF JOINT RESOLUTION n (a) Authority to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances shall not be inferred— (1) from any provision of law (whether or not in effect before November 7, 1973), including any provision contained in any Appropriation Act, unless such provision specifically authorizes the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and states that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this chapter; or (2) from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is
Savings Clause n n n (d) Nothing in this chapter— (1) is intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Congress or of the President, or the provisions of existing treaties; or (2) shall be construed as granting any authority to the President with respect to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances which authority he would not have had in the absence of this chapter.
Is it Worth Talking to Congress? n Other critics ask what good it would do to consult with Congress about most questions of national security or foreign relations: its members are allegedly parochial, partisan, poorly informed, preoccupied with re-election, and, in a word, collectively unwise about national security and foreign affairs. Indeed, involving them may effectively amount only to involving their staffs, with a substantially increased risk of leaks that will compromise national security. See, e. g. , Robert F. Turner, Repealing the War Powers Resolution 110
Effect on Treaties n n n How does it attempt to turn all mutual defense treaties into non-self-executing treaties? Is there a constitutional problem with this? What treaty military actions did it leave unaffected? n unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the
The Veto n n n Why did Nixon veto the War Powers Resolution? Did it pass anyway? Why did Nixon's veto undermine the original intent of the resolution? Why did Nixon say it would undermine the president's ability to conduct foreign policy? Have any subsequent presidents agreed to be bound by it? What did Clinton do that violated it?
Strategic and Constitutional Issues n n n How might it encourage an enemy to keep fighting? Why is the 60 day clock a constitutional problem? Why is this exactly why Congress wanted it? Why doesn't Congress want to vote on cutting off presidential action? What was the first WPR report?
Lowry v. Reagan, 676 F. Supp. 333 (D. D. C. 1987) n n n Tanker war started in 1987, not 88 - type in book Who did the plaintiffs represent? What did the plaintiff say was the effect of the president failing to file a report about the tanker war?
Statutory Problems n n What did the court say was missing in the Act that made it impossible to resolve the case? n First, and most importantly, the very absence of a definitional section in the Resolution, coupled with debate suggesting that determinations of ‘‘hostilities’’ were intended to be political decisions made by the President and Congress, suggest to this Court that fixed legal standards were deliberately omitted from this statutory scheme. Without this, who did the court say would
Koohi v. United States, 976 F. 2 d 1328 (9 th Cir. 1992) - FTCA n n n n Who are the plaintiffs? Why aren't they blocked by this exception: (k) Any claim arising in a foreign country. ? Why doesn't the US claim it was a discretionary action? What exception is the court reviewing? n Acts of War What did Lowry say about the court deciding if there were hostilities going on? What did this court say? Are they answering the same question?
Crockett v. Reagan, 558 F. Supp. 893, 901 (D. D. C. 1982), aff’d, 720 F. 2 d 1355 (D. C. Cir. 1983) n n n What did the court say about whether courts should be ordering the president to pull out troops? What are the problems with a courtordered troop withdrawal? Should the court assume that a majority of Congress opposed the use of force?
Is the WPR Just Political Cover: The Free Pass n [T]he defect at the heart of the WPR is that it has given both the President and Congress a putative free pass. In the actual contemporary exercise of war powers, perception has become reality as both the media and many members of Congress overlook the WPR’s disclaimer of authority [§ 8(d)(2), 50 U. S. C. § 1547(c)(2) (2000). ] Thus, some proponents of unilateral presidential action invoke the putative sixty-day free pass as license to use force abroad without constitutionally required advance authorization from Congress, for its part, takes false comfort that it has somehow fulfilled its constitutional duty to decide on uses of force abroad by doing nothing.
Should/Could Congress revise the War Powers Resolution to make it more effective?