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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

War Powers Act

This military action by US forces against Libya is one more chance to review the 1973 War Powers Act

At this post, on Sunday, I promised to contact the office of Senator Kerry, to see where he stands on this issue.  I did that on Monday afternoon.  I also contacted the office of our Junior Senator, Scott Brown, and the office of our Representative, Niki Tsongas.

I got a call back today from the Office of Senator Scott Brown.  The young man who called me was excellent.  He told me that the Congress did receive a letter from President Obama, fulfilling the 48 hour notification requirement.

He noted that some Constitutional Scholars, such as Phillip Bobbit, of Columbia University, feel the the War Powers Act is unconstitutional.  Professor Bobbit is not a neophyte in this area, having written about military force and its uses in the past, including The Shield of Achilles.  Great book.

The gentleman from Senator Scott's office thought that if this operation wound down within two months the question of a Congressional approval would be irrelevant.  This is certainly our President's hope, as shown by his comment about "days, not months".

If this war goes for the long haul then the Congress must approve or the President must withdraw US forces within 30 additional days, for a total of 90.

My thanks to the unnamed staffer from Senator Brown's Washington Office.

And, yes, when I hear back from Representative Tsongas' Office or Senator Kerry's Office, I will blog about it.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Strangely, I called 411 in Boston, MA, and Washington, DC, to get office phone numbers for our Senior Senator and both times the operator asked if the name of our Senior Senator began with a "C".
  Hat tip to Daily Kos for the link to the letter.


Anonymous said...

His use of, and the magnified focus on the War Powers Act to commit us to military force in concert with what can only be described as a loose coalition against Libya keeps America and Americans from seeing a much larger and arrogant pattern of Presidential conduct.

This one considers himself above the law and inclined to make his own rules as he goes along. For instance, his recent declarations in re the Gitmo mess, he relies on Art. 75 of Protocol 1, which has NEVER been ratified, and thus, has no force in the conduct of the nation's business.

In many diverse ways, Obama has failed to abide by the tenets of his oath of office.

Jack Mitchell said...

They pick up the phone at Niki's Lowell office.

Or would that detail mess up your meme?

Niki is constantly out and about the District and, I find, very reachable.

Kerry? He is getting better. His problem is that POTUS has tasked him to help solve global issues, like the New Start Treaty.

We just met with his state director, Drew O'Brien to discuss the Bladder Damn.

My personal approach is to develop an acquaintance with staff. They are readily available to constituents.

C R Krieger said...

They do pick up the phone at Representative Tsongas's office and I talked to a very nice young lady who promised to get back to me.  I am figuring it will happen this week.  And, from the Lyle Moran article in The Lowell Sun we have a sense of where she stands.

As for Senator Kerry, I called the Boston office and it rang and rang and rang.  I then called his office in DC and was passed off to a staffer working Foreign Affairs, who gave me her EMail and asked me to EMail my question to her, which I did, on Monday evening.  (I was scolded for doing so over dinner, but I was trying to be responsive.)  If this woman closes the deal, I will report it.  I am glad that the Senior Senator is improving regarding constituent services.

Regards  —  Cliff