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View Diary: Cantor (R-VA): Prez has Power to Declare War (56 comments)

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  •  Emergency responses are pre-constitutional. (2+ / 0-)
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    zeke L, Crashing Vor

    If Osama shows up at my door, carrying a bomb, of course I have the right to shoot him in the head. Any emergency response without a pre-formed formal mechanism has to be handled as best can be, and let the justifications be after the facts.

    However, any interpretation of the context that the constitution was produced under make it obvious that the intention of  a large part of the involved parties was not to create temporary dictatorships. Because that's what you have in effect if congress has the limited ability to simply to restate the fact "We're at war."

    Let see what powers congress has under Article I:

    To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

    To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

    To provide and maintain a navy;

    To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

    To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    Seems pretty clear to me. If regulation doesn't include who soldier are allowed to kill, if "calling forth the militia ot execute the laws of the union" doesn't include controlling the rules of warfare, the general targets, the beginning and ending of war, we're just living in a lawyer-ly parallel universe, where everything is just a "term of art," with no substance except in the esotoric jargon of laywer-ese. Somehow, I doubt that's what the colonies voted for.

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