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Boehner to Obama: How Does Syria Plan Comport With ‘Exclusive’ Constitutional Power of Congress?

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Terence P. Jeffrey
CNS News
August 29, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) sent a letter to President Barack Obama late Wednesday asking the president to tell the nation how his plans for Syria are “legally justified” and how that legal justification comports with the constitutional authority of Congress to authorize military action.

The letter marked a significant shift in both tone and substance from the statement Boehner had issued on Monday urging the president to “consult with Congress” and “explain” to the American people whatever “course of action he chooses” to take.”

“In addition,” Boehner wrote in his Wednesday letter, “it is essential you address on what basis any use of force would be legally justified and how the justification comports with the exclusive authority of congressional authorization under Article 1 of the Constitution.”

Article 1 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to “declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” The draft version of this language that was debated in the Constitutional Convention on Aug. 17, 1787 would have given Congress the power to “make war,” according to the notes of the convention made by James Madison.

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This article was posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:26 am

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