At the times and to the extent specified in section 1701 of this title, the President may, under such regulations as he may prescribe, by means of instructions, licenses, or otherwise-
(A) investigate, regulate, or prohibit-
(i) any transactions in foreign exchange,
(ii) transfers of credit or payments between, by, through, or to any banking institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments involve any interest of any foreign country or a national thereof,
(iii) the importing or exporting of currency or securities, and
(B) investigate, regulate, direct and compel, nullify, void, prevent or prohibit, any acquisition, holding, withholding, use, transfer, withdrawal, transportation, importation or exportation of, or dealing in, or exercising any right, power, or privilege with respect to, or transactions involving, any property in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest;
by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
Congress has long authorized the President in time of War. The Confiscation Act of 1861 allowed any property used by the Confederates to be confiscated. In later wars Congress expressly permitted the wartime exercise of executive power to put control of foreign assets in the hands of the President. See Propper v. Clark, 337 U.S. 472, 493, 69 S.Ct. 1333, 1345, 93 L.Ed. 1480 (1949). Such orders permit the President to maintain the foreign assets at his disposal for use in negotiating the resolution of a declared national emergency. The frozen assets serve as a bargaining chip to be used by the President when dealing with a hostile country.
Congerss passed IEEPA in 1976, partially in response to the Iran Hostage Crisis. IEEPA permits the President to exercise powers Constitutionally vested in the executive branch in time of war through the use of Executive Orders. Therefore, where executive branch undertakes the transfer of assets pursuant to specific congressional authorization, such action is supported by the strongest of presumption and the widest latitude of judicial interpretation, and the burden of persuasion would rest heavily upon any who might attack it. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 72 S.Ct. 863, 96 L.Ed. 1153 (1952), Justice Jackson concurring.
The President relied on his IEEPA powers in November 1979, when he blocked all Iranian assets in this country, and again in January 1981, when he nullified interests acquired in blocked property, and ordered that property's transfer.
The language of IEEPA is sweeping and unqualified. It provides broadly that the President may void or nullify the exercising by any person of any right, power or privilege with respect to ... any property in which any foreign country has any interest.... 50 U.S.C. 1702(a)(1)(B). 651 F.2d, at 806-807 (emphasis in original). Dames & Moore v. Regan 453 U.S. 654, 671, 101 S.Ct. 2972, 2982 (U.S.,1981).
If you would like, I can email you a copy if the introductory section of IEEPA, so that you can review all of the Executive Orders issued under it. This newest on is really no big deal.
So tell me, why is it a good thing to curtail wartime executive power to deny the Commander in Chief the power to control foreign assets?