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Vanderbilt University Law School

Constitutional Law

2007

Commander in Chief Clause

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International Law And Constitutional Interpretation: The Commander In Chief Clause Reconsidered, Ingrid Wuerth Jan 2007

International Law And Constitutional Interpretation: The Commander In Chief Clause Reconsidered, Ingrid Wuerth

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Commander in Chief Clause is a difficult, underexplored area of constitutional interpretation. It is also a context in which international law is often mentioned, but not fully defended, as a possible method of interpreting the Constitution. This Article analyzes why the Commander in Chief Clause is difficult and argues that international law helps resolve some of the problems that the Clause presents. Because of weaknesses in originalist analysis, changes over time, and lack of judicial competence in military matters, the Court and commentators have relied on second-order interpretive norms like congressional authorization and executive branch practice in interpreting the …