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Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

National Security Law

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The National Security Consequences Of The Major Questions Doctrine, Ganesh Sitaraman, Timothy Meyer Oct 2023

The National Security Consequences Of The Major Questions Doctrine, Ganesh Sitaraman, Timothy Meyer

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The rise of the major questions doctrine—the rule that says that in order to delegate to the executive branch the power to resolve a “question of ‘deep economic and political significance’ that is central to [a] statutory scheme,” Congress must do so expressly—threatens to unmake the modern executive’s authority over foreign affairs, especially in matters of national security and interstate conflict. In the twenty-first century, global conflicts increasingly involve economic warfare, rather than (or in addition to) the force of arms.

In the United States, the executive power to levy economic sanctions and engage in other forms of economic warfare …