Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hatch, FISA, and Article II

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is also a member of the Intelligence Committee, said he had been given details about the program and was satisfied — but not absolutely certain — that it is constitutional. "I am familiar with the program," Hatch said, "and I have to say that I agree with [the] proposition that the Congress cannot take away the president's authority under Article Two of the Constitution."

-From National Review

Article II, Section 2, Clause 1: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment. "

That's the only mention in Article II about being Commander in Chief. And there's nothing about making up, or being above, the laws. War, or no war.

Oh, and only Congress can decalare war (Article I). The last time they did that was December 9, 1941 (Germany).



war-mongering conservative said...

Correction Bob, Congress declared war in 1991 when Saddam invaded Kuwait. I'm sorry to burst your bubble but Congress did grant Bush authority to go to war in 2003 and 2001.

Regarding WWII I believe Congress declared war on Japan on December 8,1941 initially.

Just check your facts

Bob said...

Fact-checking proves us both wrong.

The last formal declaration of war was June 5, 1942, against Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania as part of WWII. Prior to that, war had been declared on Germany, Italy (Dec 11, 1941) and Japan (Dec 8, 1941)

Since then, the following military engagements (not wars) have been authorized:

Protection of Lebanon (1958)
Vietnam (1964)
Restoration of Lebanese Government (1982)
Invasion of Panama [Just Cause] (1989)
Persian Gulf War [Desert Storm] (1991)
Invasion of Afghanistan [Eduring Freedom] (2001)
Iraq [Iraqi Freedom] (2003)

However, constitutionally, these are not wars. If they were, then why were authorizations made from 1798-2003 and declarations from 1812-1942?


war-mongering conservative said...

I can deal with that brother