Constitutional Law: War Powers

  • Sayd Hussain
  • Robert Marriaga


Who has the power to declare war? Many would say that the U. S. Constitution is clear and Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 states that the U. S. Congress has the power to declare war. That clause has only one interpretation. However, the Presidency of the U. S. has found a loop hole to undermine this constitutional mandate, and that is by using the Commander-in-Chief clause. This clause, located in Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution, states that the President shall be the Commander in Chief of the army and navy, and of the militia of the several states. The President is given authority by the Constitution to command and serve as leader of the armed forces who are sent to fight in combat. The question is, does the President of the U. S. have the authority to declare war or go to war without asking Congress’ permission?