Preserve the Constitution Series: The Constitution and the Common Defense
Jessica Kline /
Arguably more than any other armed conflict, the events of September 11, 2001, tested the President’s constitutional authority to wage war on behalf of the country. Whether the issue was the capture and treatment of detainees, interrogation techniques, surveillance, the Geneva Conventions, wiretapping, Guantanamo, or the role of the courts during wartime, this conflict unleashed a public debate regarding the role of the President during wartime. Who ensures America’s national security?
Does the Constitution, as John Yoo argues, give the President “the primary direction of national security decisions, with Congress retaining ample authority to check executive power”? Or, as others have asserted, did the Framers “[intend] Congress to play the predominant role in setting national security and foreign policy and that legislative action invariably overrides presidential decision-making”? And what role, if any, should the courts play in the conduct of national security policy?
What role does the Attorney General play in interpreting the Constitution and advising the commander in chief during wartime? And has that role evolved over time, and why?
Join us on October 11 in Washington, D.C., for Heritage’s Preserve the Constitution seriesas we turn our attention to the Constitution and the Common Defense. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from former U.S. Attorneys General Edwin Meese, John Ashcroft, and Michael Mukasey as they discuss the vital role of the Constitution during armed conflict.