For Immediate Release
White House’s Military Force Proposal Lacks Critical Details, ACLU Says
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration sent proposed legislation authorizing the use of military force against ISIS to Congress today. The administration has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS since August 8, 2014, but Congress has not yet voted on whether to authorize the campaign.
Chris Anders, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, had this reaction:
“Among Congress’s constitutional authorities, there is none more important than the authority to declare war. While the administration’s proposal is a constructive one, it lacks crucial limitations. It fails to make clear that the new enactment will be the exclusive authority for the use of military force against ISIS, which leaves open the possibility that the executive branch will continue to rely inappropriately on the authorization that Congress passed in 2001. It lacks any geographic limitation, which means that the executive branch may interpret it to authorize the use of force far from the battlefield in Iraq. It also fails to state clearly the specific objective for which military force is being authorized, and so gives no clear picture of what it would mean to ‘win.’ If Congress grants any new authority for the use of military force, the authority must be significantly more limited than the authority the administration has proposed.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.