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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

2018

Military, War, and Peace

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Presidents And War Powers, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2018

Presidents And War Powers, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Constitution vests the president with “executive power” and provides that “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy,” while it endows Congress with the power “To declare War.” These provisions have given rise to two major questions about presidential war powers: first, what should be the president’s role in taking the country to war, and, second, what are the president’s powers to direct its conduct. Historian Michael Beschloss’s new book, “Presidents of War,” examines how presidents have responded to each of these questions across two hundred years of U.S ...


What's So Great About The Declare War Clause?, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2018

What's So Great About The Declare War Clause?, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

I have long believed two things about constitutional war powers, which my reading of Noah Feldman’s “The Three Lives of James Madison” largely confirmed. First, James Madison was brilliant and prescient about many things, but the strategy and politics of war were not among them. Second, modern constitutional critics of an imperial presidency place too much weight on the declare war clause – and especially Madison’s statements about it. Madison, indeed, worried deeply about unchecked presidential war powers. But Feldman’s book shows that Madison did not emphasize the same risks and checks so often ascribed to him today ...