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Alberto Gonzales on War & Peace

Attorney General

 


Congress’ 2001 authorization means Bush power is at maximum

Just a few days after the events of September 11th, Congress enacted a joint resolution to support and authorize a military response to the attacks on American soil. In this resolution, the Authorization for Use of Military Force, Congress did two important things. First, it expressly recognized the President’s “authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the US.” Second, it supplemented that authority by authorizing the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks” in order to prevent further attacks on the US.

The Resolution means that the President’s authority to use military force against those terrorist groups is at its maximum because he is acting with the express authorization of Congress. In the Hamdi case, the Supreme Court confirmed the congressional authorization.

Source: Speech at the Georgetown University Law Center , Jan 24, 2006

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Page last updated: Sep 27, 2018