Is the fight against ISIS legal?
Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, welcomes you to We the People, a weekly show of constitutional debate.
Is the battle against ISIS legal on constitutional grounds, or an overreach of executive authority? Those questions were before a federal appeals court in late October, after an Army captain sued the executive branch for lacking specific authorization from Congress to attack the terrorist group.
President Donald Trump is now part of the case, called Smith v. Trump, which had its day in court on October 27 at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Also under debate is the subject of the President’s ability to take military actions outside of the War Powers Resolution, an act of Congress from the 1970s that most Presidents have ignored.
Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale Law School. He is helping to represent Captain Smith in the Smith v. Trump case. He is the author of eighteen books that have had a broad influence in political philosophy, constitutional law, and public policy
Chris Fonzone is Former Deputy White House Counsel and National Security Council Legal Adviser under President Obama. He helped to defend against the case while working for the Obama administration.
Jeffrey Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, the only institution in America chartered by Congress “to disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” He is also a professor at The George Washington University Law School, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic.
Resources Mentioned In Podcast
- Oral argument audio in 16-5377, Smith v. Trump - U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, October 27, 2017
- National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 - 112th Congress, January 2, 2012
- Authorization for Use of Military Force - Joint Resolution, 107th Congress, October 16, 2002
- Authorization for Use of Military Force - Joint Resolution, 107th Congress, September 18, 2001
- Guide to the War Powers Resolution of 1973 - Library of Congress
- Opinion in Little v. Barreme, 6 U.S. 170 (1804) - U.S. Supreme Court, February 27, 1804
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