In this case, the Constitution seems to lie on the side of the President. While Congress is granted a wide array of powers and much latitude in making laws that will assist them in the governance of the country, there is no provision directly allowing them to micromanage the country’s budget. In contrast, there is a specific provision of the constitution giving the President the right to micromanage the war effort. All military control is specifically granted to the president and the attempt of Congress to undermine that authority is unconstitutional.
Furthermore, American history dictates that the country needs a strong military leader in times of international crisis. Whether Congress likes it or not, this is a time of national crisis. In all major conflicts since the antion;s history began, the president in power when the country is at war ahs been granted great latitude in conducting the war effort. Even in the Vietnam War, it was public outcry and not Congressional action that changed the will of the president and the nation.
During the early stages of the Civil War, president Abraham Lincoln went so far as to order additional ships for the navy without Congressional approval because they were needed for the war effort. In World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dictated to Congress that they would impose price restrictions on food to prevent further economic blows do the war effort and they listened because a nation at war needs to have a strong leader. (Part D) The best political outcome in this case would be for Congress to be put in their place.
The law should be overturned as unconstitutional and the president should be gently reprimanded in the opinion for not bringing the issue directly to the courts when Congress began attempting to micromange the war. The court’s opinion should include a notation that the purpose of the judicial branch is to interpret the Constitution and that the presidnet’s attempt to do so on his own might have accomplished the overall goal of showing the ignorance of the Congress, but it did not do anything to solve the problem. He should be reprimanded for getting into a pissing match with the Congress and not simply winning the game.
More importantly though, the opinion must emphasize that congress has acted completely contradictory to the Constitution and has allowed political differences of opinion to cloud their judgment regarding the antion;s safety and well-being. It is completely reasonable for the Congress to try to place political pressure on the President to change the war effort and to bring American soldiers home, but they should have enough respect for and knowledge of the Cosntitution to not violate basic American principals to get their way.
In essence, the court must act as an outraged parent and scold both the Congress and the President for their immaturity in this matter. Neither has acted in the best interests of the nation and both have behaved liked petulant children attempting to get their own way. ? Re: The declared national emergency does not give President George Bush additional power, specifically in regard to the pardon of dick Cheney or the demand that Cheney remain in office. From a standpoint of judicial precedence, this is the hardest of the three points of contention to discuss.
The portions of the Constitution which address emergency powers are relatively brief. In one section, the power is alluded to saying that habeus corpus should not be suspended except in matters of extreme emergency. Otherwise, the Constitution is very enarly mute on the subject. However, we know as a matter of American history that the founders intended for their to be emergency powers granted to the executive branch in times of national crisis. President George Washington was the first to use these powers.
Since then, the powers used by the president during a national emergency have gradually increased through World War II. Lincoln used the expanded power under the declaration of a national emergency to unilaterally declare war on the Confederacy and to build up the military for four months before the congressional session began. FDR used the national emergency declaration economically to attempt to help end the Great Depression and told Congress, “In the event that Congress should fail to act, and to act adequately, I shall accept responsibility and I will act. ”
Since the Constitution allows for the suspension of habeus corpus in times of emergency and that was arguably one of the major considerations of the framers, it stands to reason that any right upon which they placed lesser value could also be suspended during the course of a national emergency. Given the impressments of Americans byu the Crown, up to and during the Revolutionary War, the idea of preventing false imprisonment was of vital importance to the framers of the Constitution and yet they acknowledged that it might become necessary in a national emergency.
Therefore, it is unlike that they would object to the presidential pardon of Dick Cheney or the president’s insistence that he remain in office for the duration of the crisis. Furthermore, after the Civil War, the courts rules in Ex Parte Milligan (1866) that the President has broad emergency powers, including the right to suspend habeas corpus, but that it does nto extend to the right to military tribunals o long as civilian courts are operating. By issuing the ruling, the court in essence lent credence to the idea of extended powers of the executive branch during a declared national emergency.
Eighty year later, FDr would echo the sentiment saying, “The President has the power…to take measures necessary to avert a disaster which would interfere with winning of the war. ” Based on these precendents, it is hard to argue that there are any restrictions on the actions of the president when a national emergency has been declared. Indeed, former counsel to the Presidnet, John W. Dean writes, “Each national crisis leave the country a little less democractic. ” (Part B)
It is obvious in this area is the one time that the Democrats and others in Congress are likely to be strict constructionalist and want the Constitution interpreted exactly as written. There is technically nothing int eh constitution that would give President bush these powers. There is only history and interpretation. The Constitution specifically forbids the president pardoning someone who has been impeached and it specifically stated that someone who has been found guilty by the Senate should be removed from office.
This strict interpretation of the Constitution using the actual words written in it seems contradictory to the approach of Congressional leaders most of the time, but it is the approach that they wil take in this discussion. Legally speaking, the issues are very muddled. The precedent of the court has been the idea that the government has the right to fight for self-preservation, the idea being that if the government falls then there is no one left to protect the ideals that they held sacred. On the other hand, this is a battle between the government itself.
It is a fight for power and for political control in a highly divided country. Where then should the court come dowm? (Part C) Given your previous positions (Justice Scalia), it is hard to argue that the interpretation of the law must come from events and not the actual written word. However, in this case, both must be evaluated and given significant weight in determining the future of the country. The history of our nation shows us that we believe in a strong executive branch when the nation is in crisis. We have not found it necessary in the past to restrict that power during the time of crisis.
Congress has gone back after the crisis has abated and created legislation like the National Emergency Act of 1976 to attempt to restrict those powers and has put in place laws to prevent abuse of the declaration of a national emergeny. However, in the end, it comes down to determining what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they envisioned the emergency powers provision of the Constitution. Ultimately, it seems that great deal of emphasis should be placed on the manner in which George Washington used the emergency powers as he was both a framer of the document and the first to use its power.
And, in that case, it seems reasonable to argue that President Bush should be given great latitude in his actions since the declaration of a national emergency. Clearly, the framers intended for the President to be able to respond to crises without waiting for Congressional action and without having to fight political battles. Since the impeachment of Cheney was largely politically motivated anyway, it becomes all that much more important to take politics out of the war effort and let the president handle the crisis at hand. (Part D)
The best political outcome for the country would be for the courts to allow President Bush to act with great impunity while the country is in a national emergency and to scold the Conress for its attempts to politicize national security. Though the President’s approval ratings are low, congressional approval ratings are even lower. And, someone must act above the fray and maintain some semblance of democracy and order or the resulting crisis will have nothing to do with a war in Iraq, but will be guided by the alck of faith of the American people in her government and her Constitution.
For that reason, the court must act to maintain the delicate balance of power in the nation’s capital and issue some restrictions of the president’s national emergency power, so as not to appear to be just another partisan group of yes men, but should also act to preserve the power of the presidency. Perhaps more than ever before the court is charged with the duty of regulating a political system that has become too polarized to reach a common ground and middle America is stuck with greatly diverging paths that it does not want to take.
In a sort of new judicial activism, the Supreme Court should act to force the Congress to act within the boundaries of the Constitution and force the President to do likewise. The end result should be that the vice president steps down, acknowledging the power of the impeachment proceedings and Congress is forced to swallow their pride and fun the military efforts in the manner dictated by the Commander-in-Chief. Otherwise, further polarization of the antion is likely to occur and the end result will be armed conflict at home, not abroad.