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2 scholars say president is misreading his power to wage war

Aug. 29, 2013 at 2:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Two law scholars said Thursday the White House is incorrectly interpreting "war" to justify military operations reserved only for congressional approval.

Saikrishna Prakash, University of Virginia law professor, noted in a teleconference Thursday military action against Libya in 2011 was justified under the War Powers Resolution because it did not constitute a war, which the U.S. Constitution says can only be declared by the U.S. Congress.

His view is consistent with that of several dozen members of Congress, who signed a letter to President Barack Obama arguing the Office of Legal counsel reduced the definition of military action in Libya to claim the president did not need congressional approval.

That same letter said the president will need congressional approval before any military undertaking in Syria, the Washington newspaper The Hill reported Thursday.

John Yoo, University of California law professor, agreed with Prakash during the teleconference, agreeing that Obama cannot legally use the War Powers Resolution to justify an attack on Syria due to national emergency.

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