Advancing a Free Society

A Way Out of the Libya Conundrum

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

President Obama is in a legal and political pickle concerning his unilateral intervention in Libya.  The mission is much harder than he anticipated, and it has taken much longer (months, not days) than he thought it would.  Congress is growing increasingly unhappy, and belligerent, about the aims and clarity of the mission and the extent to which it has been consulted.  As the political pressure on the White House has grown, so too have the legal problems.  The factual assumptions of the original constitutional justification are increasingly at odds with the reality of the intervention over time.  The intervention also appears to most observers – including the Office of Legal Counsel and the DOD General Counsel – to have violated the War Powers Resolution.  The legal problems, in turn, have angered Congress further.

Continue reading Jack Goldsmith at Lawfare