What's So Great About the Declare War Clause?

Matthew C. Waxman, What’s So Great About the Declare War Clause?, (Jan. 29, 2018)

Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-576

9 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2018  

Matthew C. Waxman

Columbia Law School

Date Written: January 29, 2018

Abstract

I have long believed two things about constitutional war powers, which my reading of Noah Feldman’s “The Three Lives of James Madison” largely confirmed. First, James Madison was brilliant and prescient about many things, but the strategy and politics of war were not among them. Second, modern constitutional critics of an imperial presidency place too much weight on the declare war clause — and especially Madison’s statements about it. Madison, indeed, worried deeply about unchecked presidential war powers. But Feldman’s book shows that Madison did not emphasize the same risks and checks so often ascribed to him today, especially by congressionalists who invoke Madison’s statements about war-initiation.

Keywords: James Madison, constitutional war powers, declare war clause

Suggested Citation

Waxman, Matthew C., What's So Great About the Declare War Clause? (January 29, 2018). Matthew C. Waxman, What’s So Great About the Declare War Clause?, (Jan. 29, 2018) ; Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-576. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3112746

Matthew C. Waxman (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
212-854-0592 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/fac/Matthew_Waxman

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