Thursday, February 01, 2007

4 out of 5 Experts Agree: Congress Can End a War

"Four of the five constitutional experts who testified [during a Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutional power of Congress to end a war - a foreshadowing of the shape of next week's floor debate] agreed that Congress had the power to end the war. Even the lone naysayer, Robert F. Turner of the University of Virginia School of Law, conceded that the debate on the resolutions was constitutionally "legitimate."

Congress is not merely a "coequal" branch of government, said Louis Fisher, a specialist in constitutional law at the Library of Congress. "The framers vested the decisive and ultimate powers of war and spending in the legislative branch."

Fisher said that if the prosecution of a war were deemed by Congress to no longer be in the national interest, "then it's wrong to continue to put troops in harm's way."

Conservative legal scholar Bradford Berenson, a Harvard Law School classmate of Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) and a former associate White House counsel under Bush, said the Constitution "does give Congress broad authority to terminate a war."

Duke law professor Walter Dellinger, a former acting U.S. solicitor general, said that Congress ultimately decides the "size, scope and duration" of the use of military force." (source)

I could be wrong, but I can't help but think this is a bunch of political posturing and special interest pacifying. I can't imagine Democrats taking the chance of a total collapse in Iraq if they pull out the troops. Any negative action that resulted from that would completely jeopardize their aspirations to hold on to Congress and regain the White House in '08. I can't see them gambling something they feel is so close to their grasp on a complete unknown. These are hearings to silence the Sheehans...IMO.

(Oh, and can someone explain the picture to me...?)

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