The Presidency 15

Free course on the presidency. One paragraph per day.

17.          Other than for national self-defense, the President’s war powers were quite constrained. Congress, not the President, was to decide if and when to declare war, if and when to suppress domestic insurrections.  Congress was to decide whether to create an army, how the army and navy would be funded, whether to call up the state militia, and how the army, navy, and the state militia would be organized.  These stipulations are spelled out in the Constitution and are cited below.

The Commander in Chief Clause in Article 2, Section 2 says “the President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States”

The Calling Forth Clause in Article I, Section 8 reserves to Congress the power “to declare war,[and] to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions…”

Article I, Section 8 also reserves to Congress the power “to define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations; … [to] make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; to raise and support Armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years; to provide and maintain a Navy; to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States…”

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