Saturday, April 22, 2006

Presidential Power

Are there any limits on Presidential Power? Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith have written an article that explores this very question.
The President is acting as if the decisions that may get us into another war are his to make and his alone. So the Iran crisis poses not only questions of military feasibility and political wisdom but of Constitutional usurpation.

Bush's top officials openly assert that he can do anything he wants--including attacking another country--on his authority as Commander in Chief.

Last October, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked by members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee whether the President would circumvent Congressional authorization if the White House chose military action against Iran or Syria. She answered, "I will not say anything that constrains his authority as Commander in Chief."

When pressed by Senator Paul Sarbanes about whether the Administration can exercise a military option without an authorization from Congress, Rice replied, "The President never takes any option off the table, and he shouldn't."
So the answer is, unsatifyingly enough, we'll have to see. As long as nobody says no, the President can do whatever he likes. Once someone says no, well, then we'll find out exactly how far his power goes.

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