On Wednesday, Nov. 28, Congress took what may be its most important step to date towards openly opposing U.S. involvement in the Yemen war. By a vote of 63 to 37, the Senate elected to discharge a joint resolution directing an end to U.S. involvement in Yemen out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and on to the Senate floor. The resolution in question, S.J. Res.
Latest in War Powers
A review of Michael Beschloss, “Presidents of War” (Crown Books, 2018).
Today is the centennial Armistice Day, remembered as the day the Great War ended. In a military sense it did, but as a matter of U.S. domestic law, it dragged on for three more years.
As President Trump goes into this week’s NATO summit complaining about burden-sharing, amid inflamed anxieties at home about presidential powers over foreign relations, it is worth remembering the “Great Debate” of the early 1950s. That dispute pitted President Harry Truman and Secretary of State Dean Acheson against congressional NATO skeptics, and it concerned whether the president could unilaterally deploy four additional U.S. Army divisions to Western Europe.
The opinion on the April 2018 airstrikes against Syrian chemical-weapons facilities follows straightforwardly from Obama-era legal opinions, including one we did not know about until today.
Earlier this evening, the U.S. Senate voted to table the motion to discharge S.J. Res. 54, the joint resolution seeking to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, making it unlikely that the joint resolution will see further action.
Last Friday, Feb. 9, Sen. Tim Kaine asked the Trump administration to turn over a legal memo prepared by administration lawyers in connection with the April 2017 missile strikes directed at Syrian regime forces. The existence of that memo came to light in response to a freedom of information lawsuit filed by our organization, Protect Democracy.
The White House has provided a letter to Sen. Bob Corker detailing the Trump administration's legal analysis of the basis for airstrikes conducted in Syria in May and June 2017. The letter is available in full below.
Early Sunday evening, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 that had just completed a bombing run targeting US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Raqqa region. The episode raises important questions under the U.N. Charter (see Adil Ahmad Haque’s analysis here). But what about U.S. domestic law?
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) have sent a letter to President Trump requesting information on the administration's domestic legal justification for the recent airstrikes in Syria, "in particular an explanation of whether this action expands ... precedents for action under Article II." The letter is available here and below.