A first-hand account of D.C. Circuit arguments in Smith v. Trump—concerning the applicability of the 2001 and 2002 AUMF to justify military action against the Islamic State—provided by Bruce Ackerman, counsel for Nathan Smith
Latest in AUMF: Scope and Reach
There are a few legal questions worth considering.
On Oct. 27, the D.C. Circuit will hear Smith v. Obama, a case concerning whether the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF) cover the war against the Islamic State.
The White House Releases a "Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks" on American Uses of Military Force
It just is not possible to read this document and not come away with a sense that the administration has endeavored to think through the range of issues it confronts in overseas terrorism operations in a systematic fashion and to make the framework it has developed as public as possible.
With less than two months to go before it hands over power to the Trump administration, the Obama administration is continuing to fine-tune the legal, policy, and institutional architectures that guide its approach to the ongoing conflict with al Qaeda. Under that heading, I want to flag some important recent developments.
1. AUMF expansion: al Shabaab is now a full-fledged "associated force"
Tonight, Longwood University will host the first and only debate between Vice Presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence. One issue they should be asked about is whether they think Congress should authorize the war against ISIS, and, if so, what the parameters of that authority should be.
September 10 marks a significant milestone in the "Forever War."
The DOD airstrike that may have killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour is interesting, from a legal perspective, at many levels. From an international law perspective, as Marty Lederman explains here, it looks to be another example of action under color of the much-discussed unwilling/unable principle (unless of course there was consent from Pakistan and the denials in the public record are mere
These kinds of advocacy lawsuits against the President in the national security arena often have perverse effects on the resulting law. The intent is generally to force constraints onto the executive branch, but the further along this lawsuit gets, the greater the risk it will result in less, rather than more, accountability and constraint on the Executive’s power.
Charlie Savage’s piece on the legal basis for the March 5 U.S. strike against an al Shabaab training camp, which allegedly killed 150 fighters, raises the intriguing question of whether the AUMF has been stretched yet again, this time to justify U.S. operations against al Shabaab as a whole.