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“Once More Unto the Breach”: The War Powers Resolution Revisited, 21 Valparaiso University Law Review 1 (1986)


The War Powers Resolution was enacted over President Nixon's veto in 1973, as the twin dramas of Vietnam and Watergate were approaching their climax in the President's resignation nearly a year later. The sponsors of the statute told the American people it would protect the nation from "another Vietnam" and piously restore the constitutional balance the Founding Fathers intended between Congress and the President with regard to the use of the national force. That balance had been disturbed, the supporters of the Resolution claimed, by a series of Presidents since McKinley who had stolen the war-making powers entrusted to Congress by the Constitution, and thereby made Congress the impotent slave of an Imperial Presidency. Once we return to the true constitutional faith, these Solons said, the peace, security, and prosperity of the United States and its allies would be assured.

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