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?
Akhil Reed Amar is an American legal scholar, an expert on constitutional law and criminal procedure. Having been the Southmayd Professor of Law at Yale Law School, he was named the Sterling Professor of Law there in 2008. A Legal Affairs poll placed Amar among the top 20 contemporary US legal thinkers.
Dr. Philip Bobbitt
Professor Bobbitt's interests include not only constitutional law but also international security and the history of strategy.
He has published six books: Tragic Choices (with Calabresi) (1978), Constitutional Fate (1982), Democracy and Deterrence (1987), U.S. Nuclear Strategy (with Freedman and Treverton) (1989), Constitutional Interpretation (1991), The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History (Knopf, 2002) and, most recently, Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century (Knopf, 2008).
Bobbitt is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the Club of Madrid. He is a Life Member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.
He is a member of the Commission on the Continuity of Government. He has served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Henry J. Friendly (2 Cir.), Associate Counsel to the President, the Counselor on International Law at the State Department, Legal Counsel to the Senate Iran-Contra Committee, and Director for Intelligence, Senior Director for Critical Infrastructure and Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council.
He is a former trustee of Princeton University; and a former member of the Oxford University Modern History Faculty and the War Studies Department of Kings College, London. He serves on the Editorial Board of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. For the Fall term 2005, he was the James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. For the Spring term 2007, he was the Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.
Formerly the A.W. Walker Centennial Chair at the Law School, Professor Bobbitt now holds a chair at the Columbia Law School, though he remains a Senior Fellow in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas.
Gene Healy is senior editor at the Cato Institute.
He is the author of a number of Cato studies on executive-power abuses by presidents of both parties, including Arrogance of Power Reborn: The Imperial Presidency and Foreign Policy in the Clinton Years (2001) and (with Timothy Lynch) Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush (2006). Healy also edited the 2004 book Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything. He has appeared on PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer and NPR's Talk of the Nation, among other venues, and his writings have been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.
Healy holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Deborah Pearlstein joined the Cardozo faculty in 2011 following her tenure at Princeton’s Law and Public Affairs Program at the Woodrow Wilson School, and visiting appointments at UPenn Law School and Georgetown Law Center. Her research focuses on national security law and the separation of powers, and her work has appeared widely in law journals and the popular press. A leading national voice on law and counterterrorism, Pearlstein has repeatedly testified before Congress and in 2009 was appointed to the ABA's Advisory Committee on Law and National Security. From 2003-07, she served as the founding director of the Law and Security Program at Human Rights First. Before embarking on a career in law, Pearlstein served in the White House as a senior editor and speechwriter for President Clinton. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law, she clerked for Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.