Antioch Law Journal


In 1973, Congress enacted the War Powers Resolution.' The purpose of the Resolution was "to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances .... 2 Part I of this comment examines the legislative evolution of the consultation clause to ascertain the intent of those congressional members who drafted and ratified the War Powers Resolution. Part II distinguishes war powers consultation and "briefing." Part III examines the potential for realizing this congressional intent, given the limitations inherent in congressionally mandated consultation together with the particular limitations imposed by the language of this provision. Parts IV and V respectively examine the gap between the congressional intent and practical effect of the War Powers Resolution, and the specific changes that could be made to ensure greater compliance with the consultation clause. The conclusion is that the imprecision of section 3 permits the President to make most deployments of United States Armed Forces without observing the prior consultation requirement.