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The War Powers Act Essay

1294 words - 5 pages

The War Powers Act

The farmers of our Constitution recognized the need for separate powers as well as checks and balances among the executive, legislative and judicial branches. This in turn helps to "provide for the common defense". Separation of powers prevents one branch from becoming excessively dominant over the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.: In order to accede to the preamble and adhere in its goals, the Constitution ensures this is by clearly stating the authority of the Congress in Article I Section 8 and the authority of the President in Article II Section 2. These fixed powers in the Constitution clearly state that one cannot act without permission or authorization of another. It is designed to that one cannot take action without consent of the other branch. This is prevalent in Article I Section 7 that states the process of how a law is passed. The fact that there are clear steps to the initiation of a law states the importance of separation of powers so that a single dominant branch does not arise.
One of the biggest debated concerning the separation of powers it the attempt to determine which branch has the constitutional authority to undertake the involvement of war. This brings us to the argument of the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution passed by congress in 1973 in effort to balance powers between congress and the president. Section 3 of the War Powers Resolution act states: "The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situation where
imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and after every such introduction shall consult regularly with the Congress until United States Armed Forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been removed from such situation." Section 3 of War Powers Resolution is necessary for the perpetuation of democracy and its inherent system of checks and balances. (RushKoff, 1337)(Mason, 105-106) The development of executive dominant role in war making has resulted in an attempt by congress to reassert its constitutional war-making powers. The War Powers Resolution (WPR) represents congress attempt to regain a degree of involvement in the nation decision to engage in war.
Decisions that presidents had made previously with little congressional participation. Under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. Congress is granted responsibility for caring out their powers as well as all other powers in the Constitution. This gives them the constitutional right to establish certain procedural...

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