Tuesday, March 31, 2015


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The President has launched a sustained, long-term military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But did he have constitutional power to do so? The Constitution carefully divides the war powers of the United States between Congress and the President. Article II provides that “The President shall be Commander in Chief.” But Article I provides that “The Congress shall have Power . . .To Declare War.” In this case, Congress has not declared war; the President ordered the attacks unilaterally. Did he exceed his authority and violate the Constitution?


  • John Donvan, Author & Correspondent, ABC News


  • Gene Healy, VP, Cato Institute & Author, False Idol
  • Deborah Pearlstein, Assistant Professor, Cardozo Law and Former Director, Law & Security Program, Human Rights First


  • Philip Bobbitt, Professor, Columbia Law School & Lecturer, University of Texas at Austin
  • Akhil Reed Amar, Professor of Law, Yale University

Watch the Debate