Directing Military Operations

Texas Law Review, Vol. 87, p. 29, 2009

8 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2009

See all articles by Michael D. Ramsey

Michael D. Ramsey

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: March 5, 2009


This Comment to Professor Saikrishna Prakash's article The Separation and Overlap of War and Military Powers, disagrees with Prakash's contention that the Constitution does not grant the President any exclusive military powers. In particular, it takes issue with Prakash's view that Congress's constitutional power "to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" gives Congress all-encompassing military power. It finds that although the Constitution grants Congress the authority to pass standing laws regulating general military conduct, the Constitution does not grant Congress the power to direct battlefield operations. Comparing the Constitution's language to that of its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, it argues that the President alone has the power to direct military operations, and congressional attempts to exercise such authority would be unconstitutional.

Keywords: commander in chief, presidential power, executive power, military command, president

JEL Classification: K39, K33

Suggested Citation

Ramsey, Michael D., Directing Military Operations (March 5, 2009). Texas Law Review, Vol. 87, p. 29, 2009, Available at SSRN:

Michael D. Ramsey (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

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