The War Powers Act allows presidents to launch hostilities at their discretion, but they must receive the concurrence of Congress (to which the Constitution gives the authority to declare war) within 60 days. If that doesn’t happen, the president has 30 additional days to end the hostilities. The clock ran out on our war against ISIL on November 6.
President Obama is invoking the authority previously granted to fight the War in Iraq, but legal authorities question its applicability, since that war has been declared over and much of the fighting against ISIL is taking place in Syria. But he could certainly make a good case for fighting those monstrous terrorists. So why doesn’t he?
I suspect that neither the lame duck Congress with the Democratic Senate or the incoming Republican legislative branch wants anything to do with this issue. This leaves the President to, once again, rule by decree. [Read more...]