Without the aid of the courts, Congress is no match for the Executive. Presidents decide, period. Congress, outgunned by the Executive and deserted by the Judiciary, goes along. The Framers would have been dismayed.
Posts Tagged ‘presidential lies’
The Big Picture Home Page | Previous Big Picture Column | Next Big Picture Column War Powers Page | Previous War Powers Column | Next War Powers Column War Powers, War Lies: A Series Part 4: Willingly Deceived Published in the Maryland Daily Record April 29, 2005 Last time, we considered the dishonesty of President Lyndon Johnson in […]
Stockdale should know about holding the bag: the next year he would be shot down and spend seven and a half years as a North Vietnamese prisoner of war subject to routine torture. He would be kept in solitary confinement for four years. He would be held in leg irons for two years. He had to go through that and more because in the end McNamara’s men did not really care whether there had been any boats or not, and McNamara’s boss LBJ did not care about telling Congress what he was asking for.
Thus the Supreme Court’s solution to the problem here was to rely on Congressional authorization of war as a sufficient substitute for Congressional declaration of war. The Court never directly addressed the ship-owner’s point that the Constitution speaks only of declarations of war, not of authorizations. The Framers would have been spinning in their graves.
In short, the power to give or withhold a declaration of war was generally viewed by the Founders as tantamount to the power to decide whether hostilities would take place, with the well-recognized exception of defense against direct attack. This placed the real war-making power in the hands of the Congress, not the President.