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Cuomo’s reminder

Mario Cuomo has called upon lawyers to speak up for the rule of law and, in particular, the fact that the president is not entitled to declare war. (Thanks to Jon Husband for the link.) [Tags: mario_cuomo politics lawyers ]

7 Responses to “Cuomo’s reminder”

  1. So when has the President “declared war”? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have Congressional sanction – they are no more or less legitimate than the Kosovo conflict was (which also had Congressional approval).

    The Bush Derangement problem is worse than the Clinton hatred was, and that’s kind of amazing all by itself.

  2. I think the appropriate netty phrase here is IANAL, but from the blog post to which the link points:

    “Cuomo said flat out that the AUMF “violates the Constitution.” He pointed out that under our Constitution the Congress’ power to declare war is non-delegable.

    It was one of those smack yourself on the forehead moments. It’s so obvious now that he has said it. He went into some history involving litigation about the Viet Nam War and pointed out that SCOTUS has never ruled one way or the other whether or not the Korean police action, Viet Nam, Kosovo, etc., etc., etc. are legal or not. SCOTUS has neither condemned nor approved of the president engaging in war absent a Congressional declaration of war.

    I don’t have the expertise to parse the details. I guess the AUMF is a form of Congressional sanction, and I guess the Prez declared war with the ultimatum to Hussein and the unleashing of the bombs. Did anyone at all actually issue a declaration of war ?

    I think Cuomo’s point is that somebody has to , and that the President can not unless Congress has. It then sends her or him out as it’s representative, its spokesperson.

    It appears that Cuomo is not a constitutional lawyer, but it can also be inferred from the list of his interests and activities here that he may have a decently informed perspective.

  3. He can be as informed as he wants to be – the precedent, ever since Truman’s Korea action, is that Congressional approval is equivalent to a declaration of war. We can like that or dislike that, but it is what it is – and both parties have been doing it for over 50 years now.

    Arguably longer, actually – I could pull up any number of actions, from the Indian wars, to central/south american/caribbean interventions, to actions in China – from the 19th century to the modern era – that show how long lived this kind of policy is.

    My point was far simpler: David, and many on the left, are simply obsessed with Bush – to the point that they can’t tell that policies he’s engaged in don’t differ in any material way from policies other Presidents – including ones they like – have engaged in.

  4. I see your point, James. Yes, I agree that the US is a warlike and war-liking nation, and doesn’t worry too much about legalities.

  5. James, at least the larger actions you refer to involved war-like situations. None of them involved the unprovoked invasion of an innocent bystander. Who cares if anyone hates Bush, the point is, to find some way to avoid what too often leads to — shall we say — negative outcomes.

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