We’re Putting Unconstitutional ‘Concentration of Power in President,’ Says Constitutional Scholar!

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Posted on CNSNews.com-By Terence P. Jeffrey-On June 24, 2011:

(CNSNews.com) - A scholar who served for 40 years as a constitutional law expert at the Library of Congress is pointing to President Barack Obama’s use of military force in Libya without congressional authorization—and, in the longer-term, a lack of effective action by Congress to protect its constitutional prerogatives—as evidence the United States has begun putting an unconstitutional “concentration of power” in the hands of one man.

“We’re ending up with a concentration of power in the president which is not constitutional,” Louis Fisher, now a scholar in residence at the Constitution Project, told CNSNews.com’s Online With Terry Jeffrey.

Fisher, who is the author of Presidential War Power, a definitive scholarly account of the drafting and historical implementation of the constitutional war power, said President Obama cannot use the United Nations or NATO to authorize his use of military force in Libya because under the U.S. Constitution only Congress can authorize a U.S. military action not needed to defend the United States against an attack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvoJgRTmGts&feature=player_embedded

“I think President Obama had an obligation to get authority up front,” said Fisher. “Obama, as you know, reached out to NATO, reached out to Security Council, reached out to the Arab League.”

Fisher said he is not calling for impeachment hearings for Obama, but did say he believes members of Congress and the public should understand that “nothing would be more impeachable” than war without authorization and that it was “a very grave offense.”

“I’m not going to recommend that the House Judiciary Committee hold impeachment hearings. But I would like members of Congress and the public to say that nothing would be more impeachable than a president who takes the country to war without coming to Congress, who does it unilaterally,” said Fisher. “So I would like people to be educated, including members of Congress to be educated, that that is a very grave offense.”

In addition to working for four decades as a constitutional expert at the Library of Congress, Fisher also taught, among other places, at Georgetown University and the William and Mary Law School.

“I would like to make it clear that in the UN Charter you cannot have the president and the Senate through the treaty process—the UN Charter or NATO—you cannot have those two actors take the power of Congress and the House of Representatives and give it to either the Security Council or to NATO countries,” said Fisher. “And I think even people who read presidential power broadly know that that’s not possible.

“You cannot use a treaty to amend the Constitution,” said Fisher.

Fisher points out that the war-powers language presented to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 initially granted Congress the sole power “to make war.” According to James Madison’s notes from the convention, Madison himself and delegate Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts offered an amendment to change the language to “declare war.”

“Mr. Madison and Mr. Gerry moved to insert ‘declare,’ striking out ‘make’ war; leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks,” said Madison’s notes.

The ensuing debate at the Constitutional Convention, the ratification process that followed, and the treatment of the war power by early congresses, presidents and Supreme Courts, Fisher explained, all make clear that the Founders understood that the Constitution gave Congress authority over initiating hostilities—whether sharply limited actions or broader wars—except when the president needed to act unilaterally to “repel a sudden attack.”

In the debate at the constitutional convention, for example, Roger Sherman of Connecticut agreed with Madison and Gerry’s understanding of what the war power should be, saying, as recorded in Madison’s notes, that the “Exectuive shd. be able to repel and not to commence war.”

Apparently responding to Pierce Butler—a delegate from South Carolina who did suggest that the power to initiate hostilities be vested in the president—Gerry said he “never expected to hear in a republic a motion to empower the Executive alone to declare war.”

Fisher said that Butler was “the only one” who argued at the Constitutional Convention for giving the war power to the president. The “other Framers were just stunned that anyone could give that power to the president,” said Fisher. “And later Pierce Butler backed away a bit. He recognized he was out by himself and no one would support that argument.”

George Mason of Virginia, who supported Madison and Gerry’s successful amendment, told the Constitutional Convention, as recorded by Madison, that he “was agst giving the power of war to the Executive, because not safely to be trusted with it; or to the Senate, because not so constructed as to be entitled to it. He was for clogging rather than facilitating war; but for facilitating peace. He preferred ‘declare’ to ‘make.’”

Fisher said Mason’s language illustrates the Framer’s belief that both houses of Congress needed to act on a decision to go to war.  “The reason he would use words like that is if you go to war, it’s part of the deliberative process, it’s not the decision of a single person,” said Fisher. “It’s the whole elected officials in the legislative body making that decision.”

Every president and Congress from the ratification until the Korean War in 1950 respected this meaning of the Constitution’s war power. 

“From 1789 to 1950, every president, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the rest, Polk, they all went to Congress either for authorization or a declaration,” said Fisher.

Fisher says that even after President Harry Truman told Congress that he would not use U.S. troops in a U.N. operation without first getting congressional approval, and even after Congress passed the U.N. Participation Act that required that the president come to Congress first, Truman went ahead and ordered troops into combat in Korea without congressional authorization.

“So in 1950, when he goes to war against Korea, he never ever came to Congress either before or after for authority,” said Fisher. Truman, he said, later told reporters the conflict in Korea was not a war, but a “police action.”

More recently, President Bill Clinton was a prolific abuser of Congress’s power to authorize military actions not needed to repel attacks on the United States.

“He never came to Congress one time for authority, Clinton,” said Fisher. “Invade Haiti. Go into Bosnia. Go into Kosovo.”

Looking back on his 40 years of experience working with Congress, Fisher says that some members fail to protect the rightful constitutional powers of the body in which they serve, thus ceding authority to the president that the Framers never intended the president to have.

“Some take care of their institution, many do not take care of their own institution,” said Fisher. “That was an assumption by the Framers, that each branch would take care of itself and push away encroachments.

“If members of Congress don’t do it, then I think constituents and the general public have to say that it’s your duty,” said Fisher. “You have to protect yourself, because if you don’t protect yourself, you’re not protecting us. And we’re ending up with a concentration of power in the president, which is not constitutional.”

Fisher said the media is culpable, too.

“And the media doesn’t help,” he said. “The media often says: Oh, the president has all these really brilliant people around him and he knows what the national interest is and so forth. So the media plays into that.”

Nor, he said, are scholars always helpful.

“And even scholars do it,” he said. “Arthur Schlesinger’s famous for the imperial president. Well, he helped build up the imperial president with his books on Andrew Jackson and FDR and John Kennedy. So scholars have been very negligent on having this really idealistic view of the president. He’s someone with goodness and expertise and all of that. It’s purely imaginary.”

On Friday, the House cast a pair of seemingly contradictory votes relevant to its constitutional war power. It voted against a resolution that would have authorized President Obama to continue to use the U.S. military in Libyan operations while prohibiting the use of ground troops there. Then it voted against a resolution to cut off funds for the Libyan operation.”

Source:

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/we-re-putting-unconstitutional-...

Note: The following articles and/or blog posts and videos relate to this disturbing issue-You Decide:

I. Video: Liberal Congressman, Obama is “An Absolute Monarch”!-Posted on ExposeObama.com-On June 24, 2011:

http://www.exposeobama.com/2011/06/24/video-liberal-congressman-oba...

II. Video: Obama Is In Violation of the War Powers Act!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn5wNKGHIDc

III. Video: Obama Could Now Be Facing His Watergate!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTynrNyuXRE&feature=related

IV. Video: It's time to impeach the president!

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V. Congress, Obama at the Brink on Libya War!-Posted on FoxNews.com-By Chris Stirewalt-On June 20, 2011:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/20/congress-obama-at-brink-...

VI. Video: Congressmen Sue Obama Over Illegal Libyan War!-Posted on ExposeOabma.com-On June 17, 2011:

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VII. Obama: UN ‘Legitimated’ U.S. Action in Libya!-Posted on CNSNews.com-By Matt Cover-On June 16, 2011:

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VIII. Video: TIME Magazine Asks: ‘Does the Constitution Still Matter?’-Posted on PatriotPost.US-On June 24, 2011:

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IX. George Soros assault on U.S. Constitution: ‘White House officials involved in rewriting nation’s founding document’!-Posted on WND.com-By Aaron Klein-On March 27, 2011:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=280277

X. The Judas Media-Posted on Floyd Reports-Guest Writer-On April 27, 2011:

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Note:  My following blog posts contain numerous articles and/or blog posts and videos that relate to this disturbing issue-You Decide:

Godfather of The Islamic Revolution!

http://weroinnm.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/godfather-of-the-islamic-r...

Is it important to understand the Marxist assault on the foundations of our system?

http://weroinnm.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/is-it-important-to-underst...

Note If you have a problem viewing any of the listed blog posts please copy web site and paste it on your browser. Be aware that some of the articles and/or blog posts or videos listed within the contents of the above blog post(s) may have been removed by this administration because they may have considered them to be too controversial.  Sure seems like any subject matter that may shed some negative light on this administration is being censored-What happened to free speech?-You Decide.

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God Bless the U.S.A.!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q65KZIqay4E&feature=related

Semper Fi!

Jake

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ALERT ALERT

YIKES!!! Chelsea Clinton Emphatically States A Person With A Beard And A Penis Can ‘Absolutely’ Identify As A Woman

  • The one issue Hillary and Chelsea don’t appear to agree on entirely is transgender self-identification
  • In an interview with The Sunday Times, journalist Decca Aitkenhead asked the Clintons about transgender self-identification
  • Chelsea Clinton replied ‘yes’ emphatically when asked if someone with a beard and penis can ever be a woman
  • ‘It’s going to take a lot more time and effort to understand what it means to be defining yourself differently,’ Hillary said
  • Aitkenhead said Hillary became ‘uneasy’ when the question was asked while Chelsea shot a ‘furious stare’ at the journalist as her mother answered
  • Hillary added: ‘It’s a very big generational discussion, because this is not something I grew up with or ever saw’

(Daily Mail) – It may appear Hillary and Chelsea Clinton always see eye-to-eye, but in a recent interview one topic cracked the facade of the like-minded mother-daughter power duo.

The one issue Hillary and Chelsea don’t appear to agree on entirely is transgender self-identification.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, journalist Decca Aitkenhead asked the Clintons if someone with a beard and a penis can ever be a woman, to which Chelsea replied emphatically, ‘Yes.’

However, as Aitkenhead describes it, Hillary looked ‘uneasy’, and blamed generational gaps for being less accepting.

‘Errr. I’m just learning about this,’ Hillary responded. ‘It’s a very big generational discussion, because this is not something I grew up with or ever saw. It’s going to take a lot more time and effort to understand what it means to be defining yourself differently.’

The Clintons sat sown with Aitkenhead to promote the book they co-authored, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.

The book features Danica Roem, the first trans woman elected to a U.S. state legislature.

According Aitkenhead’s account, she tells Hillary during the interview that many British feminists of Hillary’s generation have a problem with the idea that a ‘lesbian who doesn’t want to sleep with someone who has a penis is transphobic.’

Hillary nods in agreement, while Chelsea ‘stiffens and stares at me’, according to Aitkenhead.

The journalist then adds that many women of Hillary’s generation are uncomfortable with biological males sharing women’s bathrooms.

‘I would say that, absolutely,’ Hillary nods firmly. ‘Absolutely. Yes.’

That’s when Chelsea begins shooting a ‘furious stare’ at Aitkenhead, who points it out to her.

‘I’m a terrible actor’, Chelsea laughs.

Chelsea then says she is thrilled with the National Health Service’s decision to assign patients to single-sex wards according to the gender they identify as, instead of their biological make up.

‘How can you treat someone if you don’t recognize who they feel and know in their core they are?’ Chelsea says.

‘And I strongly support children being able to play on the sports teams that match their own gender identity,’ she adds. ‘I think we need to be doing everything we can to support kids in being whoever they know themselves to be and discovering who they are.’

At this point Hillary looks conflicted.

‘I think you’ve got to be sensitive to how difficult this is,’ Hillary says. ‘There are women who’d say [to a trans woman], ”You know what, you’ve never had the kind of life experiences that I’ve had. So I respect who you are, but don’t tell me you’re the same as me.” I hear that conversation all the time.’

Despite the clear tension in the room, the pair say they don’t argue about this topic.

But according to Aitkenhead, ‘I get the impression they don’t like to present anything less than a united front to the world.’

BONUS VIDEO

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