President Trump is making noises again about withdrawing the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty, which established NATO. Last week the House of Representatives voted 357-22 in support of the NATO Support Act. The bill does three things.
Curtis Bradley is the William Van Alstyne Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy Studies at Duke University. He joined the Duke law faculty in 2005, after teaching at the University of Virginia and University of Colorado law schools. His courses include International Law, Foreign Relations Law, and Federal Courts. He was the founding co-director of Duke Law School’s Center for International and Comparative Law and is currently a co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law. Recently, he served as a Reporter on the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) project on The Foreign Relations Law of the United States.
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This post is cross-posted on Just Security.
This piece is cross-posted at Just Security.
President Trump has submitted only one treaty to the Senate so far in his presidency. That is a historic low, and it is the latest sign that the Article II treaty process may be dying.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) published a legal opinion May 31 that explained the basis for its oral advice in April that President Trump had the authority under Article II of the Constitution to direct airstrikes against Syria.
We have a new draft paper, forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, on how extensively the president has come to control international law for the United States, and what, if anything, should be done about it. As we explain at the end of this post, one of the central questions implicated by the paper is: Does Congress care?
With his repeated disparagement of the judiciary and unfounded criticism of the news media for under-reporting terrorist attacks, a number of commentators have suggested that Trump is preemptively trying to shift the blame to the courts and the media in the event that an attack occurs. We agree that this is a concern. Our greater concern, however, is that he may be able to use this blame-shifting narrative to reduce the future checking power of institutions like the judiciary and the media, especially in the wake of a terrorist attack.
Affirming a lower court decision, the UK Supreme Court has held that, despite the referendum in June 2016 calling for withdrawal from the European Union, Britain cannot withdraw from the Union without parliamentary approval. In doing so, the Court emphasized the “constitutional character” of the legislation that implements the UK’s membership in the EU (para. 67).