10 July 2018

Andrew Napolitano is right (for once)

I don't usually agree with Fox News legal affairs commentator Andrew Napolitano (yeah, the one who was going to become one of Trump's lawyers until it turned out he had a conflict). But his testimony against the Corker/Kaine AUMF* proposal was absolutely spot on. (Bernie Sanders and our Sen. Merkley agree). He points out that open ended AUMFs are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, since the Constitution cannot be clearer that the power to wage war reposes in the Congress, not the president. In fact, his point that the most important principle in the Constitution isn't free speech or "liberty," but Separation of Powers, is also right. As he said, many illiberal governments have paper constitutions that guarantee all kinds of rights, but it's the structure of government that prevents the concentration of too much power in the hands of one man or faction that protects us from tyranny, across the generations, not nice words in a piece of paper. And he's also right, and makes a great point, that ceding the war powers to the president is not only a terrible precedent, it amounts to "amending the Constitution by [illicit] consent."

** Authorization for the Use of Military Force. And yes, the same Kaine who would have been vice president had HRC won, so this isn't a partisan issue. This bill, which would make it necessary to override a veto to stop an executive-originated war, is beyond terrible.



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