Constitutional War Powers

January 6, 2020
various passport pages with a customs stamping tool

Defending Rights & Dissent Condemns Border Detentions of Iranian-Americans, Urges Congress to Assert Their Constitutional War Powers

Days after Donald Trump ordered the assassination of an Iranian general, sparking concern of a US war with Iran, over 60 individuals of Iranian descent, including US citizens and permanent residents, were detained, had their passports confiscated, and were interrogated about their political beliefs at the US-Canadian border.ending Rights & Dissent strongly condemns these detententions. It is flagrantly unconstitutional to subject someone to detention because of their national origin or ethnicity.
June 21, 2019

Trump Lacks Legal Authority to Attack Iran

According to the New York Times, President Donald Trump ordered a strike on Iran yesterday, only to call it off at the last minute. Only Congress, not the President, has the authority to initiate such a military action. Trump’s attack would have been illegal and unconstitutional.
June 19, 2019
Protest at Department of Justice

Supreme Court’s Refusal to Hear Guantanamo “Forever Prisoner’s” Appeal Highlights Need to Repeal AUMF

In an upcoming minibus bill, a longtime opponent of the AUMF, Barbara Lee, has introduced an amendment to repeal the AUMF. A major step toward ending endless wars and forcing the issue of the “forever prisoners” would be repealing.
March 13, 2019

17 Years, 41 Military Operations, 19 Countries. It’s Time to Repeal the 2001 AUMF

Three days after the 9/11 attacks, Congress gave the President the authority to wage war against the perpetrators of the attack and the countries that harbored them.
February 14, 2019
US Capitol at Night

House Votes to End Illegal US War in Yemen, Will Senate Follow?

The House of Representatives made history when it voted to invoke the War Powers Resolution to end the US’s illegal participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The vote was 248-177.
February 13, 2019
Sunset sky over the US Capitol building dome in Washington DC.

We Can End Unconstitutional US Military Action in Yemen

We are on a historic precipice for Congress reclaiming its constitutional war powers.
January 24, 2019
Protest at Department of Justice

We Need to Close Guantánamo, Not Expand it

Defending Rights & Dissent strongly opposes any efforts to expand the military prison at Guantánamo. We reiterate our call for the military prison to be closed, for the AUMF to be repealed, and for the policy of indefinite detention to be rejected.
January 15, 2019

Defending Rights & Dissent Raises Troubling Issues with William Barr’s Views on War Powers

One particularly troubling aspect of Barr's views that have flown under the radar is his disturbing views about presidential war powers. On three separate occasions--Panama, Iraq, and Somalia--Barr advised then-President George H.W. Bush who use military force without congressional approval.
December 14, 2018
Sunset sky over the US Capitol building dome in Washington DC.

Invoking War Powers Act for First Time, Senate Moves to End Illegal US War in Yemen

Yesterday, the Senate voted to end the US’s illegal, unauthorized military participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. This is historic. Never has either chamber voted to invoke the War Powers Act. This could not have happened without grassroots pressure. I
December 12, 2018

DRAD Mourns Passing of Ally William Blum, Journalist and Historian Who Documented US Covert Actions

William Blum, a journalist and historian who documented covert actions, was an ally of our work. He recently passed away at the age of 85.
November 28, 2018

Historic Vote in Senate on Yemen War Powers Resolution

Moments ago the United States Senate voted to discharge the bipartisan Yemen War Powers Resolution. This mean the Senate will debate and vote on the ongoing illegal, unconstitutional military action in Yemen.  The resolution brought by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is an important step for Congress to reclaim its constitutional war powers While today was only a procedural vote, it is historic in nature.
October 18, 2018

Now Is The Time To End US Participation in Saudi-Led War in Yemen

This US military assistance constitutes "hostilities" under the War Powers Act. It is entirely illegal for any president--be it Trump or Obama--to engage in hostilities without Congressional authorization. And isn't just the War Powers Act, the Constitution also gives Congress the exclusive power to initiate military action.
April 26, 2018

Don’t Let the Senate Give Trump a Blank Check for War!

The Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to declare war. Yet, Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have proposed an AUMF that would turn this on its head. Take action now!
March 19, 2018

Urgent: Senate to Vote On Yemen Powers Resolution This Week

Do you remember three years ago, when after a rigorous and robust debate, the US Congress voted to authorize US military participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen? No? That's because it never happened.
March 1, 2018
US Capitol Dome. Blue night sky behind.

Bipartisan Support For Repealing Presidential Blank Check for War Grows

The Constitution gives Congress, not the President the power to declare war. The United States is currently engaged in escalating military operations in a number of countries, including Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Niger. None of these conflicts have been authorized by Congress. The executive branch has cited an anachronistic AUMF as a way to sidestep a congressional debate.