It has come to the attention of this journal that several members of Congress believe that they should cede their authority to declare war to the Office of the President. They claim no philosophic high ground in taking this position, they merely make claims about the nature of the Executive Branch which have no legal substantiation. I charge that they do so willingly, and if not they should withdraw their remarks and explain themselves.
Peter Thomas King Representative for New York’s second congressional district has made the outrageous statement that President Obama is “abdicating his responsibility”1 on Syria and that he does not need congress to wage war. This outrageous statement is clearly incompatible with Article one2 of the US Constitution. Peter King should take a second look at the oath3 he is breaking if he continues attempting to abdicate legislative power which his constituents have given him on loan. Federalist number 694 among others makes this point even clearer:
“The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies — all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.”
As we have said in this journal in the past, the legislature of this country, or any other branch of government for that matter, has neither the authority, nor any legitimate reason to cede power to any of the other co-equal branches of government. To attempt to do so would surrender the legitimacy of the government, violate the constitution and break their oath of office.
This journal will always be ready and willing to continue to explain basic American law and the meaning of the oath of office to those unwilling to honor their office.