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Author Topic: I'm voting for Ron Paul  (Read 19652 times)
Patriot
New Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #100 on: October 25, 2007, 10:23:57 AM »

You and Patriot make identical points, so I'll answer both at once. It's not open for debate that the war was illegal. Congress did not declare war. End of discussion. I suggest a reread of section 8 of the Constitution. And yes, I realize that it's just a @#$@#$ piece of paper. But to some of us, it means something. At the very least, it means what it says.

The rest follows from there. All of the consequences of the original crime are on the head of the criminal. That includes not only the administration, but Congress who failed to impeach the president for waging undeclared war. I don't recall ever saying something as simplistic as, "It's Bush's fault."

Indeed, Congress is doubly contemptible. That passed a non-declaration of war so they could claim they were "strong on national defense," but refrained from declaring war so they could blame the outcome on Bush. If they suddenly had an attack of morality, they would impeach Bush--and then have themselves shot for treason.

--Len.

Making blanket statements like 'it's not open for debate that the war is illegal' only undermines your argument.  Heard of Doe v Bush?  Or have you decided that this part of the Constitution isn't relevant: 

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Article III

Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party

Skirting that issue for the moment,
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Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

[...]

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Nowhere does it say that Congress must declare war in order for U.S. military action to take place.  What it does say is that Congress has the power to declare ware as well as various powers concerning the armed forces.  If Bush unilaterally declared war, that might be one thing.  Congress, however, authorized him to take action. 

Maybe you are right about the war being illegal.  That is a question for constitutional scholars and the courts.  It pertains to constitutional law and theory (i.e. interpreting the constitution).  Until then, making statements like that is just silly.
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Paddy
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« Reply #101 on: October 25, 2007, 10:30:48 AM »

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AFAICT, we agree about the Iraq war.

AFAICT the only agreement we've got is that we're both opposed to it.  My reasons, however, are based in reality.



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Crazy is not knowing who your friends are.

I'll pass, thanks all the same.

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Len Budney
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« Reply #102 on: October 25, 2007, 10:31:55 AM »

...have you decided that this part of the Constitution isn't relevant: 

Quote
Article III

Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party

I'm not sure what you think the relevance is. It appears that you're suggesting that the SCOTUS is charged with interpreting the Constitution, rather than applying it. If so, I'll point out that it says no such thing there. It's true that past Supreme Courts have interpreted the article as empowering them to interpret the Constitution, but down that road lies infinite recursion.

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Maybe you are right about the war being illegal.  That is a question for constitutional scholars and the courts....

The same infinite recursion. Past courts have taken a liberal interpretation of the Constitution, and their black robes don't change the fact that they're wrong. Odds are 50/50 that you agree with that statement, as pertains to Roe v. Wade. But it doesn't take a Constitutional scholar to read the primary documents and learn that the framers were strict constructionists, and that they intentionally vested war-making power in Congress and not the executive. It isn't a question for highfalutin' legal scholars. The question for highfalutin' legal scholars is whether presidents will get away with violating the Constitution in this way, and history since WWII demonstrates that for now at least, the answer is YES.

--Len.
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Patriot
New Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #103 on: October 25, 2007, 11:24:21 AM »

...have you decided that this part of the Constitution isn't relevant: 

Quote
Article III

Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party

I'm not sure what you think the relevance is. It appears that you're suggesting that the SCOTUS is charged with interpreting the Constitution, rather than applying it. If so, I'll point out that it says no such thing there. It's true that past Supreme Courts have interpreted the article as empowering them to interpret the Constitution, but down that road lies infinite recursion.

Judicial review has been around since Marbury vs Madison (1803).  Unless you think the Courts should rely on the another branch to enforce their interpretation, then they must have limited powers, namely, to strike down or uphold disputed legislation/actions.  I think this is a reasonable inference.

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The same infinite recursion. Past courts have taken a liberal interpretation of the Constitution, and their black robes don't change the fact that they're wrong. Odds are 50/50 that you agree with that statement, as pertains to Roe v. Wade. But it doesn't take a Constitutional scholar to read the primary documents and learn that the framers were strict constructionists, and that they intentionally vested war-making power in Congress and not the executive. It isn't a question for highfalutin' legal scholars. The question for highfalutin' legal scholars is whether presidents will get away with violating the Constitution in this way, and history since WWII demonstrates that for now at least, the answer is YES.

--Len.

That is opinion.  You may be of the mind that your personal opinion is indisputable, but that is doesn't make it so. 

If, as you succinctly put it, "war-making power is vested in Congress," then that would be problematic if the President made war without Congress's express approval.  Since, however, that had been given in the 'Iraq War Resolution,' what does not pass muster? 

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To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Congress passed a law authorizing the President to take military action.  Since the Constitution does not prescribe a specific protocol for Congress's declaring war, I see no reason (aside from custom) that their authorizing the president to take military action doesn't constitute a de facto declaration of war.  Note that formal declarations  of war were just that, FORMal (i.e. a customary protocol).  'Declare' just means to make known, with connotations of formality, officiousness, or clarity.  Resolutions authorizing force are an understood format because - as you pointed out, it has been done for quite some time.  It is official, because Congress passed a resolution exercising its constitutional power.  It has clarity because it is clear to anyone what's going on.  If you are familiar with the Constitutional Convention's consideration of whether to word it "make war" or "declare war," it becomes obvious that declare war refers as much to commencing war as to a formal declaration.  Furthermore, their eventual choice of "declare" suggests that they wanted military action to be specifically authorized, which is the whole point of the Iraq War Resolution. 
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Len Budney
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Posts: 1,023


« Reply #104 on: October 25, 2007, 01:10:31 PM »

Judicial review has been around since Marbury vs Madison (1803).  Unless you think the Courts should rely on the another branch to enforce their interpretation, then they must have limited powers, namely, to strike down or uphold disputed legislation/actions.  I think this is a reasonable inference.

Right. If that's what you mean, then we're on the same page. The courts can strike down unconstitutional laws, but they can't reinterpret the Constitution so that "unconstitutional" means what they want it to mean. They're bound by the framers' intent, which is well documented. Many think the SCOTUS has a much broader role--namely, "interpreting" the Constitution as a "living document."

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That is opinion.  You may be of the mind that your personal opinion is indisputable, but that is doesn't make it so.

True; the fact that it's my opinion doesn't make it so. But in this case, the fact that it's so does make it so. The power to declare war rests with Congress alone.

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If, as you succinctly put it, "war-making power is vested in Congress," then that would be problematic if the President made war without Congress's express approval.  Since, however, that had been given in the 'Iraq War Resolution,' what does not pass muster? 

You are trying to interpret their "authorization" as a declaration of war. This too is not a subjective matter: it simply isn't one.

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Furthermore, their eventual choice of "declare" suggests that they wanted military action to be specifically authorized, which is the whole point of the Iraq War Resolution. 

It was not a declaration of a state of war. It was par for the course though: another example of fence-straddling that enabled the shameless congresscritters to both take credit, and divert blame, for the war. Coming out firmly for and against the war preserves their ability to pander to all sides. Which is precisely why the debacle in Iraq is not solely Bush's fault. For their own purposes, they gave him a legal fig-leaf, while at the same time purposely withholding a genuine declaration of war.

--Len.
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Patriot
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Posts: 27


« Reply #105 on: October 25, 2007, 01:21:24 PM »

True; the fact that it's my opinion doesn't make it so. But in this case, the fact that it's so does make it so. The power to declare war rests with Congress alone.

That is one of their constitutional powers.  No one infringed on it.  They approved military action.  And the probem is...?

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You are trying to interpret their "authorization" as a declaration of war. This too is not a subjective matter: it simply isn't one.

Provide a legally pertinent (statutory or case law) definition of what "declare war" means and entails.  Otherwise, it is indeed subject to interpretation. 
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Mike Irwin
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Posts: 33,454


I Am Inimical


« Reply #106 on: October 25, 2007, 01:31:08 PM »

Enough.

Everyone take a deep breath.

You're like a session of New York's colonial congress...

They speak very fast and very loud, and nobody listens to anybody else, with the result that nothing ever gets done.
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