ISSUE 5 Does the President Have Unilateral War Powers? I found this to be an interesting issue about the President having unilateral war powers. I can definitely see the “grey” area and reason for this issue to arise. As stated in the book, the confusion/conflict comes from the constitution and how it’s written. In summary, the Congress is given the power to declare war and “to raise and support armies”, but the president is authorized to serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces “when called into actual service of the United States.” This means the President has the power to move troops where he deems fit regardless of congress.
Reasoning: The section of the Judiciary Act of 1792 (passed by Congress) relied on by Marbury which granted the Supreme Court the right to issue writs of mandamus to government officials was unconstitutional and therefore is void and of no effect. The Constitution only gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in cases “affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls and those in which a state shall be a party. In all other cases, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction.” It is the duty of the Court to
Marbury V. Madison • Arguably most important case in Supreme Court history • Written in 1803 by Chief Justice John Marshall • First U.S. Supreme Court case to apply the principle of "judicial review" the power of federal courts to void acts of Congress in conflict with the Constitution. • The decision played a key role in making the Supreme court a separate branch of government on par with Congress and the executive. • In the election of 1800 the newly organized Democratic-Republic Party of Thomas Jefferson defeated the Federalist party of John Adams creating an atmosphere of political panic for the Federalists • Adams appointed a large number of justices of peace for the District of Columbia whose commissions were approved by the Senate, signed by the President and affixed with the official seal of the government • The following commissions were not delivered and when President Jefferson assumed office in 1801 he order James Madison, his secretary of state not to deliver them. • William Marbury one of the appointees petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus,or legal order, compelling Madison to show cause why he should not receive his commission. • To resolve the case, Chief Justice Marshall answered 3 questions.
If Congress doesn’t agree with the impoundment of funds, the president is required to spend the money. The act also requires presidents to notify Congress of delays in spending. Impeachment: Presidents can be removed upon impeachment and conviction. The House votes to indict the president. The impeached president must be convicted by a 2/3 vote of the Senate (which sits as a court, hears the
This means anybody appointed by the President then has to be approved by Senate. They can also impeach judges from the Judicial Branch. This limits Executive’s power to appoint people disapproved by Senate. The Judicial Branch can declare laws and the President’s acts unconstitutional. They have the right to do this because if the President is doing something against his right or the Constitution it’s not allowed.
Zinn also uses an excerpt from historian Charles Beard to explain his reasoning. Beard basically said that the rich controls the government or the laws the government operates by. Zinn points out that the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights shows that quality of interest hides behind innocence. Meaning that Congress completely ignores the freedom of speech. Professor of history Gordon S. Wood views the struggle for a new constitution in 1787-1788 as a social conflict between upper-class Federalists who desired a stronger central government and the “humbler” Anti-Federalists who controlled the state assemblies.
I believe the Constitution did a better job of protecting liberties, specifically in the areas of the federal court system, representation of the people, and the levy of taxes. Alexander Hamilton, statesman and economist, proclaimed "Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation”. The Articles of Confederation which gave rise to the Confederation government that took effect in March 1781, did not give the national government any means to enforce the federal laws. The states could, and often did, choose to interpret or enforce federal laws in any manner they saw fit. This led to disputes amongst the states that could not be readily settled, as it relied on each state’s court system which invariably chose to discount the ruling of the other states.
The principle was adopted by the Founding Fathers due to their fear of totalitarianism. Montesquieu argued for separation of powers in his book L’Esprit de Lois, where he stated that separation of powers will avoid tyranny ‘When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person…there can be no liberty.’ On the contrary to the US, the UK’s powers are fused; the Prime Minister is both the executive and part of the legislature. In the US system there is also a separation of personnel, this means that no person can be a member of more than one branch at the same time. When Senator Al Gore was elected vice-president in 1992, he had to resign from the Senate. Similarly, in 2008, Barack Obama too had to resign from the Senate.
The opponents, however, named themselves the Anti-Federalists, and they argued that the new plan handed too much power to the central government. Ultimately, before it could go into effect, nine of the thirteen states needed to ratify the document. The Constitution should be ratified because it will it divides the government power appropriately, unites the states,
MARBURY v. MADISON, 5 U.S. 137 (1803) 5 U.S. 137 (Cranch) WILLIAM MARBURY v. JAMES MADISON, Secretary of State of the United States. Mr. Chief Justice MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court. At the last term, on the affidavits then read and filed with the clerk, a rule was granted in this case requiring the Secretary of State to show cause why a mandamus should not issue directing him to deliver to William Marbury his commission as a justice of the peace for the county of Washington, in the District of Columbia. No cause has been shown, and the present motion is for a mandamus. The peculiar delicacy of this case, the novelty of some of its circumstances, and the real difficulty attending the points which occur in it require a complete exposition of the principles on which the opinion to be given by the Court is founded….