Monday, September 17, 2007

McCain: Democrat move on Iraq 'unconstitutional'

"Where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that the Congress decides how long people will spend on tours of duty and how long they will spend back in the United States? It's blatantly unconstitutional," McCain said. "The Constitution of the United States said Congress will declare wars and fund wars."
Blatantly unconstitutional? McCain's convoluted argument fits well with the theory of the "unitary executive." Once congress (read the people's representatives) grants authorization, the president can do whatever and for how ever long he/she deems necessary? Anyone who has taken a basic legal history or US constitutional law course understands that interpretation is always in flux. However, this sort of argument, which overwhelmingly favors the power of the executive over the legislature (and the judicial), defies any reasonable interpretation.