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Thanksgiving 1990 found our nation on the brink of a constitutional crisis. The President threatened to commit nearly half a million American soldiers to war against Iraq without congressional approval. Just weeks later the crisis evaporated: in January 1991 the President requested, and Congress passed, a joint resolution formally approving the war. Within months, America and its allies had won a smashing victory.

Such events beget many documents, among them the Memorandum Amicus Curiae of Law Professors that follows in these pages. How did this memorandum originate? What difference did it make? And how should constitutional history remember this latest war powers crisis?

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