Justin Amash to Draft Legislation Declaring the Libyan Action UnconstitutionalSubmitted by the clover helix on Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:59
Justin Amash and Tim Johnson are going to introduce this soon...
...let's see if they can follow through with a house vote!
“Constitutionally, it is indisputable that Congress must be consulted prior to an act of war unless there is an imminent threat against this country. The president has not done so,” Johnson said. “In fact, this is the same man who questioned President Bush’s constitutional authority to commit troops to war."
“Our country has no business enmeshing itself in another country’s civil unrest. We were not attacked. Our national security interests are not at stake. It is the American people, through their elected representatives, who are constitutionally empowered to take this kind of action. Not the president."
"Amash is correct in concluding that Senator Obama is right and President Obama is wrong, and he has the Founding Fathers in his corner as well as Senator Obama. James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson on April 2, 1798: "The constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature."
Madison also explained in an anonymous 1793 letter (Helvidius #1): "In the general distribution of powers, we find that of declaring war expressly vested in the Congress, where every other legislative power is declared to be vested, and without any other qualification than what is common to every other legislative act. The constitutional idea of this power would seem then clearly to be, that it is of a legislative and not an executive nature.... Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges, whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded. They are barred from the latter functions by a great principle in free government, analogous to that which separates the sword from the purse, or the power of executing from the power of enacting laws."
Even Alexander Hamilton, that great proponent of executive power, conceded in an anonymous 1793 response (as Americanus #1) to James Madison that "war is a question, under our constitution, not of Executive, but of Legislative cognizance. It belongs to Congress to say—whether the Nation shall of choice dismiss the olive branch and unfurl the banners of War."