11 August, 2014
Lawfare › The Case for Seeking Congressional Authorization for Iraq Strikes Just Grew Stronger
Lawfare › The Case for Seeking Congressional Authorization for Iraq Strikes Just Grew Stronger: If the President plans to engage in military operations in Iraq for “months” (and almost certainly longer) in an effort to address the militant threat posed over the long term there, then the case for doing so in reliance solely on his inherent Article II self-defense power just grew weaker, legally and especially politically, and the case for seeking authorization from Congress for the military strikes just grew stronger. As I noted yesterday, the case for seeking congressional authorization in this context was made forcefully and persuasively less than a year ago by President Obama himself, when he explained why he was seeking congressional authorization prior to military strikes in Syria. (The Syrian strikes were supposedly going to be “limited in duration and scope,” unlike the longer term strikes now planned for Iraq.) The President said last year that “all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote”; and that “the country will be stronger if we take this course [i.e. congressional authorization], and our actions will be even more effective”; and that “[w]e should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual”; and that “our democracy is stronger when the President and the people’s representatives stand together.” If this was true last year, why not now, with even greater force?