Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Former Congressman accuses Capitol Hill of dereliction for ducking vote on ISIS war
Hot ^ | October 4, 2014 | ED MORRISEY

Posted on 10/04/2014 11:39:23 AM PDT by Kaslin

He’s not the only one, but Tom Campbell may have the highest level of moral authority to rebuke Congress on this point. Now a law professor, Campbell filed a lawsuit to block Bill Clinton from ordering air strikes in Serbia in the late 1990s without an explicit Congressional authorization for war. Now Campbell tells Yahoo News’ Olivier Knox that the current Congress risks setting a precedent that will all but eliminate the legislature’s ability to control when America goes to war:

“This is Congress running way from its responsibility,” the soft-spoken Campbell told Yahoo News in a telephone interview. “Is there anything left to the Constitution’s requirement that it’s the Congress’s role to declare war?”

The White House says it would welcome a vote authorizing Obama’s war on the Islamic State, but aides also say Obama has all the legal authority he needs and warn that the president would not accept restrictions from Congress on the kinds of operations he could order.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner says he’d call lawmakers back from the campaign trail to vote if only Obama would formally draft a resolution authorizing the use of military force (in Washington-speak, an AUMF) and submit it to Congress. Leaders of key committees say they are looking to vote on authorization after the November election, or perhaps in 2015 when a new Congress convenes, a vague calendar that hardly guarantees action.

As one will recall, the White House seemed pretty anxious to get Congress to authorize arming and training the so-called moderate rebels in Syria. So far, though, they seem pretty sanguine about shrugging off both the Constitution and the War Powers Act. This isn’t new, of course; Obama never got Congressional authority for the war on Moammar Qaddafi, and only went to Congress for approval on attacking Assad after it became clear that the prospect was becoming a real political disaster, both at home and abroad. Even that was more of a dare, challenging Congress to shoulder the blame for not reacting to Obama’s red line. Not having been consulted on the red line in the first place, though, Congress appeared ready to call Obama’s bluff, which is when he backed down.

In fact, that’s one reason why Campbell says Obama should ask for a vote, and agree to abide by it:

“Assuming the president would get approval, and I think he would, if we go to war with Congress on board, it has two salutary effects,” Campbell said. “First, it prevents a lot of carping around the edges, where you have members of Congress criticizing the conduct of the war. It’s easy to criticize if you’ve been pushed to the margins. ‘You didn’t even ask me’ and so on.”

That was certainly the case with the first attempt to intervene militarily in Syria, compounded by Obama’s refusal to engage Congress on Libya. Ironically, of course, Obama is now attacking one of the main enemies of the regime he intended to attack in 2013. That’s hardly the only irony. As we’ve mentioned before, the debate has focused almost entirely on whether we need Congressional authorization for offensive military operations in Syria, because the 2002 AUMF for operations in Iraq remains in force. That’s the same AUMF that Obama wanted Congress to repeal, and the one which he claims authority to act without further Congressional authority — but only for Iraq.

Can one member of Congress force a vote, even if leadership of both parties balk at it? Yes, and Olivier Knox describes the details of how that could happen. Campbell himself managed to force two votes on the Serbia mission, but they ended up being historical footnotes. The same is likely to be the case here, thanks to Congress’ record of shrugging off its jurisdiction and authority, and a series of Presidents who were only too happy to take up the slack.

KEYWORDS: aumf; barack0bama; congress; declarationofwar; iraq; isis; rulesofengagement; warauthorization; warpowersact

1 posted on 10/04/2014 11:39:23 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
“This is Congress running way from its responsibility,” the soft-spoken Campbell told Yahoo News in a telephone interview. “Is there anything left to the Constitution’s requirement that it’s the Congress’s role to declare war?”

The congress has been running away from its duty under the Constitution for the last couple of generations. They allow the alphabet agencies to make rules that have the power of laws that only the congress has the right to enact. The lily livered judges cast these rules into stone and the congress is effectively neutered along with the Constitution they are sworn to protect and defend. Its not just power to declare war. Its damn near everything.

2 posted on 10/04/2014 11:51:34 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

and they want our vote... sheesh

3 posted on 10/04/2014 11:53:11 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Capital Hill was doing the same thing when he was there.  This reprimand has been a long time coming.

We're six years into the unbriddled destruction brought about by a foreign national enemy of our Republican, and not one person is Washington will stand up and tell it like it is.

The Republican party has ceased to function in it's oversight capacity.

We've had a common criminal, his mol, his Leftenents, organized crime, and now a foreign national enemy of our republic at the helm, and all the Republicans can do is push for amnesty.

They might just as well roll over and play dead.

Oh that's right, they have.

Ramirez's latest political cartoon LARGE VERSION 10/03/2014: LINK  LINK to regular sized version of Ramirez's latest, and an archive of his political cartoons.
In this political cartoon, Ramirez presents, "Nuclear Iran"

FReepers, 3% of the FReepathon goal has been met.  Please click above and pencil in your donation now.  Lets retire this effort early this quarter.
Thank you!

...this is a general all purpose message, and should not be seen as targeting any individual I am responding to...

4 posted on 10/04/2014 12:00:55 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Obama and the Left are maggots feeding off the flesh of the United States.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Don Corleone
Correct. Congress has given our PResidents way too much power over the decades. They simply don't wont the responsibility and hand it off to the executive. The only other power that can engage in War is a State.
5 posted on 10/04/2014 12:28:05 PM PDT by Theoria (I should never have surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson