Jules Lobel is a professor of law and the vice-president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and he's going to tell Congress this afternoon why they need to reign in the president when it comes to war. The War Powers Resolution states that Congress has to approve an act of war that isn't immediate self-defense. Lobel is backing an amendment that will take extra steps to make sure that happens.
The amendment will clarify that the President can only act without Congress in response to a direct attack on U.S. territory, troops, or citizens. The courts will also have the power to uphold Congress instead of standing aside. Lobel points out that the United Nations Security Council plays the role of Congress on the international scene, and the U.S. should not go to war without their approval.
Lobel says the amendment will help to slow down the rush of war, and prevent the executive from acting unilaterally in a "War On Terror." He says if the president feels the need to attack another terrorist group that is a threat to the nation, he needs to take it to Congress first.
Lobel speaks at the "War Powers in the 21st Century: The Constitutional Perspective" hearing before the Committee of Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight.