Will Other Republican Wimps Follow Their Leader-Wimp, Boehner, and Vote to Declare War on Syria?

And just now we learn that Boehner has wimped by supporting an attack on Syria. Watch for a war declaration similar to the Iraq War “non-declaration”, about which:

On October 10, 2002, congress passed the second Iraq War resolution, and on October 16, 2002, President Bush signed it. The resolution purportedly authorized President Bush to initiate, in his discretion, war against Iraq:

RESOLUTION: “SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) Authorization. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

The resolution was not a lawful declaration of war comporting with congress’s war power, because it unconstitutionally purported to delegate or transfer the exclusive congressional war power to the president, in violation of the separation of powers principle and of. Article 1, §8, CL. 11. “Congress shall have power . . . To declare war . . . .” The president has no constitutional authority to declare war: his only war-making authority is in implementing congressional declarations of war as commander-in-chief.

As Justice Joseph Story wrote 160 years earlier:

“[C]ertainly, in a republic, the [president] ought not to be clothed with a power so summary, and, at the same time, so full of dangers to the public interest and the public safety. It would be to commit the liberties, as well as the rights of the people, to the ambition, or resentment, or caprice, or rashness of a single mind.”

Moreover, the resolution was unlawful, because it didn’t actually declare war; it only endorsed in advance a future war to be declared by the president unilaterally.

The resolution was also illusory, constitutionally vague, defective, and void, because it set no objective standard for the president to use force. It did not “authorize” the use of force when actually necessary and appropriate Instead, it authorized force when the president determines force to be necessary. Consequently, the war hinged solely on the president’s own thought processes, discretion, and conclusions—not on actual threats or events.

As to clause (2) of the resolution—the president lacks authority to enforce any United Nations Security Council resolutions unless and until those resolutions become the law of the United States, adopted in accordance with constitutionally-permitted federal law-making or treaty-making powers. Absent those adoptions, congress has neither power to adopt UN Resolutions, nor power to order the president to enforce them. And the president, of course, has no power of his own to enforce any UN resolutions.

In short, few will have the courage to vote down a resolution similar to the Iraq resolution. Voting for a like-framed resolution is easy, for those voting yea can always pass off the blame and the ill-consequences to the president.

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Published in: on September 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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