Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | isis | barack obama | garrett epps | constitution | congress

Experts Debate Legality of War on ISIS

Image: Experts Debate Legality of War on ISIS
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By    |   Wednesday, 01 Jun 2016 02:32 PM

A lawsuit asking a federal court to weigh in on the military action against ISIS is filled with "hazards" — but shows that U.S. political leaders aren't taking the war against the Islamic jihadists seriously enough, constitutional law Professor Garrett Epps contends.

In a commentary for the Atlantic, the University of Baltimore professor writes there's no opposition to the war effort on Capitol Hill, though Congress hasn't "held hearings or a vote of any kind."

In his lawsuit filed last month, Army Capt. Nathan Smith, an intelligence officer in Kuwait, charged President Barack Obama is engaged in an "illegal war" because he hasn't gotten congressional authorization under the War Powers Resolution of 1973. 

Obama has argued he already received authority to attack al-Qaida under Congress' order enacted after the 9/11 attacks, and that since the Islamic State is an offshoot of al-Qaida, the order still counts.

"A court decision stating that the current military operation is unlawful would raise unpredictable legal issues," Epps argues about Smith's suit.

"A court order to the president on his use of military forces, however coyly phrased, would be at best unenforceable. A president who believes his conduct is lawful and the national interest is at stake might very well — and arguably should — refuse to comply with such an order."

But Epps writes what Smith and other soldiers really deserve is far more important.

"The relief Smith and other soldiers are actually seeking — and one they richly deserve — would be a decision by their political leaders to treat the Constitution, the nation's commitment to military force, and the lives of American personnel as a serious matters, worthy of sustained attention," Epps writes.

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A lawsuit asking a federal court to weigh in on the military action against ISIS "is filled with hazards" - but shows that U.S. political leaders aren't taking the war against the Islamic jihadists seriously enough, constitutional law Professor Garrett Epps contends.
isis, barack obama, garrett epps, constitution, congress
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2016-32-01
Wednesday, 01 Jun 2016 02:32 PM
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