The Spectacle Blog

Presidents and War, the Cliff Notes Version

By on 3.30.11 | 2:53PM

I'll even sum up the below post for anyone who is interested but doesn't have the patience to read the whole thing.

1. Most examples of "undeclared wars" were either authorized by Congress or were small-scale defensive measures by the commander-in-chief that weren't really wars. So no, we haven't always done this before.

2. A majority of the precedents that genuinely apply to what the president is doing in Libya have taken place since 1950, not exactly a period famous for strict enforcement of the Constitution. Constitutional conservatives have opposed most of these adventures.

3. Instead of citing evidence from the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers, or the state ratification debates, most arguments for expansive presidential war powers cite secondary sources to make claims that were frequently considered and rejected in those early constitutional debates.

4. If you disagree with me, give me an example of such evidence.

5. If we are not going to follow this method of interpreting the Constitution, it then becomes difficult to cite originalism and enumerated powers against Obamacare and other things.

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