Advancing a Free Society

The Legally Useless House Resolution to Stop the Libya Intervention

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I realize that the two Libya Resolutions being considered in the House are more for political than legal effect, but the Resolution that seeks to check the President’s Libya intervention is an especially unfortunate vehicle.  It provides in full:

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces from Libya.

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),

SECTION 1. REMOVAL OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FROM LIBYA.

Pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544(c)), the Congress hereby directs the President to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities with respect to Libya by not later than the date that is 15 days after the date of the adoption of this concurrent resolution, except for those only engaged in—

(1) search and rescue;

(2) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance;

(3) aerial refueling; and

(4) operational planning.

There are, I think, at least two legal problems with this Resolution.

Continue reading Jack Goldsmith at Lawfare

(photo credit: Mike Renlund)