• Congress Votes to Limit Trump’s War Powers After Iran Lies: A Closer Look
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    Congress Votes to Limit Trump’s War Powers After Iran Lies: A Closer Look

    -The House voted today to rein in the president’s war powers as it becomes increasingly clear the Trump administration lied to justify an unconstitutional act of war. For more on this, it’s time for “A Closer Look.” [ Cheers and applause ] Amid lingering tensions and unanswered questions from a crisis he started with Iran, as well as an impending impeachment trial in the Senate, President Trump took questions at the White House today, and decided to whine about the fact that no one gives him credit for giving up his presidential salary. Trump tried to say that he donates the money to good causes, like fighting the opioid epidemic,…

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    Obama Violates the Fundamental Doctrine of the Constitution

    On July 4th, 1776, a small band of patriots declared that we were a people created equal — free to think and worship and live as we please.  It was a declaration heard around the world — that we were no longer colonists, we were Americans, and our destiny would not be determined for us; it would be determined by us. It was a bold and tremendously brave thing to do.  It was also nearly unthinkable.  At that time, kings and princes and emperors ruled the world.  But those patriots were certain that a better way was possible.  And this tyrant has robbed us of that better way, structured in…

  • 44,000 Bombs in 2017: The Result of Ignoring the Constitution on War
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    44,000 Bombs in 2017: The Result of Ignoring the Constitution on War

    Give government an inch and they always take a mile. Especially when it comes to war powers. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to determine if the country will declare war and against whom. Only after that decision is made by the Congress, the President takes charge of waging that war. James Madison put it this way, “The constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the legislature.” Hammering things home, Madison pointed out that the Constitution gave the…

  • The Constitutional War Powers of the Executive and Legislative Branches
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    The Constitutional War Powers of the Executive and Legislative Branches

    Good afternoon. My name is Nate Kaczmarek. I’m the Deputy Director of The Federalist Society’s Article I Initiative. Initiative is dedicated to the development of a theory of the role and practical goals of Congress that stem directly from core constitutional principles. Today’s luncheon is just one of the many events The Federalist Society has planned here on Capitol Hill and across the country. On behalf of the Initiative, I want to thank you all for joining us. At the outset, I’d also like to thank, uh, Senator Ron Johnson and his staff for sponsoring the room for today’s event. As you may have noticed from your program and from…

  • The Constitution and War Powers: Jefferson vs the Barbary Pirates
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    The Constitution and War Powers: Jefferson vs the Barbary Pirates

    Some people want you to believe that Thomas Jefferson waged war on the Barbary pirates without congressional approval – but they’re either ignorant or lying. Whenever we point out that the president is not constitutionally authorized to initiate offensive military action, we get a response like this – “Thomas Jefferson sent ships and Marines to kick some pirate butt without even telling Congress, let alone get their approval. Are you saying Jefferson was wrong?” But this isn’t the whole story. In fact, it’s missing so much, it’s not even true. Aggression against US shipping had been going on for decades. Barbary pirates captured a number of American sailors and demanded…

  • Constitutional War Power: The Founders’ Framework
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    Constitutional War Power: The Founders’ Framework

    Lord Acton had the wonderful aphorism, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” So when I think of government, I think you’ve got a kind of a double level danger there, ’cause you’re taking people who are themselves flawed, and in any situation will exercise those flaws, and then you’re putting them into a sense, a position in which they have all this power around them. (music) What our founders, you know, if you look at kind of the American Revolution, it was very much a focus on limiting what they saw as dangerous power. And they were focused on the power of the king, because Great Britain…

  • Constitutional War Powers: Executive Authority in the War on Terror [POLICYbrief]
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    Constitutional War Powers: Executive Authority in the War on Terror [POLICYbrief]

    I think the September 11th attacks would meet most everyone’s definition of war. The thing that’s hard about 9/11 is not the kind of attack that it was, but who carried them out. The threat of terrorism is a different kind of threat. A small group of people can launch attacks within the United States in ways that we couldn’t detect or stop. The difficulty is that terrorism, because it’s not a state, the enemy doesn’t wear uniforms, they don’t have cities, population, territory to defend … they seem to look more like criminal gangs sometimes than an enemy’s armed forces. The Framers would have known that you could have…