Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Class Assignment Help

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I am enrolled in a National Security Law class this semester. This class is outstanding; I'm so glad I elected to take it. Currently, we are looking at the War Powers Resolution as a result of the struggles of the Separation of Powers issues during Vietnam. One of the assignments we have for Monday is to re-reread the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and consider its strengths and weaknesses. We are to figure out how to "fix" the War Powers Resolution to make it better than what we currently have - what would you add, what would you rewrite, what would you strike altogether?

While I will be doing this over the course of the week, I thought I would take this opportunity to ask those of you who are interested in manners such as this to put your thoughts on this subject in a reply to this post. I am interested not only in forming my own opinion, but seeing how my opinion matches and diverges from other opinions, and I see this as an opportunity to get input from a variety of sources while developing my opinion - which can be of great help. You can get to a link of the War Powers Resolution by clicking here, and then clicking on the section numbers at the Cornell law website that comes up.

The thread is open to all commenters, and I encourage civil debate. Thank you for your help.

9 comments:

small town girl said...

Have you read the Prinston Project for National Security??

I don't know a lot about this knid of stuff, but I know a good thing when I see it and I love what they have done with that thought...

I link to it from the home page from my website...

You might find some great ideas from the work they did... making it your own of course, and things have changed alot since it came out last fall.

Food for thought in it that is for sure...

Bookworm said...

Having skimmed the statute, I can only say no good ever happens when Congress tries to micromanage Constitutional powers. This is a purely visceral reaction, because my eyes quickly glazed over as I read the material. Just as the CFR is a blight upon the federal landscape, insofar as it makes mostly ridiculous regulations to interpret statutes, so too is this the statutory equivalent of a CFR provision, in that it purports to provide detailed management skills for interpreting the Constitution. Without even delving into it, I can't help but believe that it impairs executive flexibility in times of national emergency -- a greater risk, I think, than a President potentially running amok. But, as I said, that's just a gut feeling after being repelled by the minatory and mandatory procedural requirements that I so loath.

Cassie said...

boring boring boring. How is Kirsten and the kids?

Jamie said...

whatever, steve, do your own work...you ain't getting none of my answers and taking credit for it!

Anonymous said...

Steve - I'm no lawyer, far from it, but i would suggest a couple of things...

If it is appropriate in this sort of legislation, some guarantee or guidance that Congress should be required to provide adequate funding/resources for our troops after they have committed them to a hostile area. The idea being that wars never remain popular for long, once the killing starts people want out. That leads to a politicizing of the war and the potential to underfund the troops for someone's political gain.

The second would be, in addition to a routine report by the President, to also require a report from a bi-partisan or non-partisan sub-committee. Again, hopefully, minimizing the partisanship.

Just a thought...

F&B

Cassie said...

what is bipartisan?

red.hot.mamma! said...

Dude, we are not going to do your homework for you. Nice try.

Hey, do you mind doing 3 extra questions for class on Tuesday? I'd really like to take the weekend off. Thanks.

Michelle said...

LOL, Cassie you are a naughty girl!

Steve said...

I thank everyone for their helpful comments. I'm going to add a couple thoughts of my own here...

The first glaring shortfall, as far as I can see, and this is based a lot on what we covered in class on Wednesday, is the fact that Congress can check the President's decisionmaking by silence. This seems to be an unconstitutional provision. It basically allows Congress to see how the invasion/action is going, politically, before taking sides - and leaves the president on his own to hang. If the action goes poorly, the President takes the hit and Congress can deny liability and thus avoid political backlash. Additionally, if the action goes well, then Congress can jump on the other side of the fence and take credit for supporting the action.

The concept was designed to fit into the "twilight zone" imagined in Youngstown Sheet and Tube, to provide guidance in the gray area between legislative and executive powers. The problem is that it corrals the President without providing adequate incentive for Congress to assert its control.

I've got to look over the provisions a couple more times before I expound further.

Keep up the helpful comments!