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Tag Archive: Presidential Powers

Don’t Let Trump Hide Behind the Constitution in Ending DACA

On Tuesday, the Trump administration formally announced its decision to end one of President Obama’s signature immigration accomplishments—the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA). Designed to protect Dreamers, that policy has insulated from deportation as many as 800,000 young people who were brought to the United States as children.…   continue »

No, the President Cannot Strike North Korea Without Congressional Approval

CNN story on Wednesday asks:  “Can the President launch a military strike on his own [on North Korea]?”–i.e., without further congressional authorization?  The piece addresses (at least) two distinct variations on this question:  Whether the President has the legal authority to act “unilaterally,” and whether Congress has the practical ability to stop him if he decides he does have such authority.…   continue »

The Troubled Status of Russian Sanctions Legislation—with the President’s Signing Statement Attached

[This article was first published on Aug. 3, 2017 at 9:55am ET and updated on Aug. 4, 2017 at 7:10am ET]

Just yesterday, an unhappy President Donald Trump signed H.R. 3364, America’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions,” which targets a rogue’s gallery of Iran, North Korea and Russia, all of whom pose serious security threats to the United States and its allies.  …   continue »

The Fog of War Powers



In the aftermath of President Trump’s strike on a Syrian airfield, commentators continue to debate the scope of presidential war powers under the Constitution.  Yet many of these analyses should probably come with a consumer warning label – “my opinion only, not necessarily the law.”  Well, just what is the “law” of presidential war powers? …   continue »

Trump on North Korea: The Dangerous Impulse to Go it Alone

At Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked whether President Donald Trump would seek congressional authorization before taking military action in North Korea. The full response is below. The short answer: No. As a blanket statement, this is quite concerning — suggesting a president that seeks to concentrate the war-declaring and war-making powers into one, and in the course of doing so, potentially embroil the United States and key allies in a costly conflict based on a unilateral decision to act.…   continue »

Apples and Oranges–Obama’s and Trump’s Plans to Strike Syria for Chem Weapons Use


One of the most important policy and legal questions moving forward is whether the Trump administration needs to seek congressional approval for military strikes in response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. That question applies not only in retrospect to Thursday’s strike, but perhaps even more so to the prospect of future military operations.…   continue »

Syria and the Law of Humanitarian Intervention (Part II: International Law and the Way Forward)

My first post for Just Security explained why, despite some bungled politics, President Obama’s proposed military action in Syria could have been lawful under U.S. domestic law.  This post discusses why President Obama did not violate international law by threatening to use force in Syria in the face of a persistent Russian veto, and how the Syria crisis might best evolve from here.…   continue »