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Thread: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

  1. #121
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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    The declaration of war is a deliberate act, intended to initiate a state of war by the United States with another state.
    Okay.

    "Congress shall have the power to declare war" means that Congress has the power.
    Reading the Constitution, though...Congress's power to declare war appears in the midst of the main list of its other legislative powers, in the eleventh of eighteen clauses in Article I, section 8 of the Constitution. It is not distinguished by any mark that would set it apart from the other powers in the list, each of which calls for the same legislative process described in Article I, section 7: "Every Bill . . . shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States" for his signature or veto; and "Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and the House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President" likewise.

    So...Are declarations of war "laws passed by Congress? Inasmuch as they activate an authority on the President"s part that will in many instances be dormant otherwise, how could they not be?

    As evidence pointing in this direction at least, what about the December 11, 1941 declaration of war against Germany. It is "Public Law 77-331." Nothing in our national legislative process becomes a "Public Law" without the signature of the president, his inaction during the period assigned for his decision to sign or veto, or an overriding of his veto-all under the terms of Article I, section 7.

    h/t to Matthew Frank at NRO.

    So what's this mean? Is the power to declare war a plenary authority belonging to Congress or is it a shared authority? It appears to be a shared authority wherein Congress is simply declaring that a state of war exists between the US and another nation and means nothing more than committing the nation to such a state of war. In other words, the power to declare war constitutes only a formal documentation of executive war-making decisions.

    It does not mean that the ONLY way the Unites States can find itself in a state of war is through such a declaration, and it certainly does not mean that the only crcumstance under which the CinC may use military force is pursuant to said declaration.
    Of course.
    Last edited by JMak; 01-06-09 at 04:55 PM.

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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by JMak View Post
    So...Are declarations of war "laws passed by Congress? Inasmuch as they activate an authority on the President"s part that will in many instances be dormant otherwise, how could they not be?
    The declaration of war is a bill to be passed by both houses like any other. It must be signed by the President, like any other bill, to have any effect. So, to that end, it is a 'shared power' as much as any power to legislate is shared.

  3. #123
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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    Ah, but the president doesn't need congressional authorization to use force, the executive branch may send forces for up to 90 days without a formal declaration of war, so what is a "congressional authorization to use force" if not a semi-formal way of saying "war were declared"
    That's with the Wars Power Act which is unconstitutional. The Congress can't grant away pieces of power or duty that the People told it to do. Only the Congress can declare war and they can't pass that buck to anyone else. It's their duty and they need to uphold it.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    That's with the Wars Power Act which is unconstitutional. The Congress can't grant away pieces of power or duty that the People told it to do. Only the Congress can declare war and they can't pass that buck to anyone else. It's their duty and they need to uphold it.
    So what you're really saying is that unless Congress formally declares war then the US military cannot be deployed? Okay.

    Again, for like the tenth time, why is a congressional resolution declaring its intent to authorize the President to use military force not a sufficient declaration? Like a formal declaration it must be passed by both chambers and must be presented to the President for his approval.

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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by JMak View Post
    Again, for like the tenth time, why is a congressional resolution declaring its intent to authorize the President to use military force not a sufficient declaration? Like a formal declaration it must be passed by both chambers and must be presented to the President for his approval.
    There is none.
    There is no constitutionally mandated form or pattern for a declaration of war.

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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    So... the army has stood (that is, there has been a standing army) since 1775.
    Maybe we're using different definitions of standing army. A standing army is an army which has the personnel on hand and trained to move whenever it needs to. A non-standing army needs to call up troops into its ranks before it can move (this is a simplistic definition, there are nuances). The bureaucracy of the military has been in place for some time. The Continental Army Washington commanded was disbanded. Some of the framework was left in place and then Congress made the US Army off of it. But that army is not the same, the initial Continental Army was disbanded, the troops dismissed and sent home. The new army was created after the Continental Army was disbanded. But it was not a standing army. It relied heavily on State militia to be called up when needed in order to act. The first standing army came about in 1794 when the Navy was being well established. The Army was made standing at the same time, but was standing in name only for awhile as at the very beginning it was still reliant on State militia.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by JMak View Post
    So what you're really saying is that unless Congress formally declares war then the US military cannot be deployed? Okay.

    Again, for like the tenth time, why is a congressional resolution declaring its intent to authorize the President to use military force not a sufficient declaration? Like a formal declaration it must be passed by both chambers and must be presented to the President for his approval.
    As I stated before, it's too loose. It gives too much discretion over the use of the military to one branch. A formal declaration of war is well more constrained. You declare war against a State, there is a specific goal and an end game in mind. The President isn't allowed to act indiscriminately with the military and go wherever it is that he sees fit. There is well more constraint in a formal declaration of war than there is in an authorization of force.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Maybe we're using different definitions of standing army. A standing army is an army which has the personnel on hand and trained to move whenever it needs to. A non-standing army needs to call up troops into its ranks before it can move
    That's not the definition of 'standing army' -- that was provided in this thread some time ago. You're describing a regular/reserve component situation, which is what we have now (and have had since 1775).

    By your definition, we don't have a standing army even now.

    The Continental Army Washington commanded was disbanded. Some of the framework was left in place and then Congress made the US Army off of it. But that army is not the same, the initial Continental Army was disbanded, the troops dismissed and sent home.
    Not all of them. The line is continuous; there have been active regular army components (and thus, a standing army) continually in service since 1775.

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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Well then let's just get our rhetoric straight.

    A standing army is an army composed of full-time career soldiers who 'stand over', in other words, who do not disband during times of peace. They differ from army reserves who are activated only during such times as war or natural disasters. Standing armies tend to be better equipped, better trained, and better prepared for emergencies, defensive deterrence and particularly wars. [1]
    Standing army - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    We did not have a standing army till 1794. The Constitution wasn't written with a standing army in mind, though it later became apparent that we needed one. The Continental Army wasn't a standing army, it was disbanded after the Revolutionary War. A framework is kept for when the need arises and Congress had to call up the State militia into service. They became the soldiers, but they are not "full-time". The fighting force is sent home after hostilities ceased. We now have a standing army, but it wasn't initially a standing army. Thus with no troops, the President couldn't independently go to war; he required the Congress to give official declaration and call up the State militia. With a standing army, you have to be very careful in what you allow. The President alone shouldn't have sole say in when and how and against whom we go to war with. He gets to set the battle plans and take the military into war; but it requires Congress to give official declaration in order for him to move in that manner.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Dems Usher in New Era of Dull Scandals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Well then let's just get our rhetoric straight.
    Yes, that'd the definition I was using.
    It doesnt have anything to do with regular/reserve components, as you suggest.

    We did not have a standing army till 1794.
    It has been proven here, for you, that we have had, in continual, uninterrupted service, a standing army - composed of full-time career soldiers, who do not disband during times of peace - since the inception of the Continental Army in 1775.

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