Verhindert die US-Verfassung autoritäre, kriegswillige Präsidenten?

Verhindert die US-Verfassung autoritäre, kriegswillige Präsidenten?

Interessant, die sonst so kriegsgeilen Neocons vom American Enterprise Institute scheinen auch angesichts des War Powers Act und Trump etwas nervös zu werden und machen aus dem Irankonflikt einen Verfassungsdebatte, ob der US-Präsidentt da nicht zuviel Macht besitze:

Gary J. Schmitt @GaryJSchmitt1

September 16, 2019 2:10 pm | AEIdeas

 ‘Locked and loaded’: A constitutional moment

In the wake of what almost certainly was an attack on Saudi oil infrastructure by Iran, President Trump has announced that the US is “locked and loaded,” implying that in retaliation, he is prepared to use US military force to strike Iran. There are solid policy reasons for conducting such a punitive strike. Allowing Tehran to believe it can conduct such operations without a real cost is a recipe for allowing even more Iranian misbehavior. But before Trump pulls the trigger, it should be asked: what’s the constitutional authority under which he would be acting?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve consistently written over the years about the president’s intended broad executive authority, including discretion over the deployment of the armed forces as commander-in-chief. The absence of a unitary and largely independent chief executive was seen as one of the major flaws in the republic’s first constitutional order, the Articles of Confederation. However, absent some form of authorization from Congress, on what grounds can a president attack another country, moving the US from a state of peace to a state of war? The United States was not attacked. Nor are American citizens or property at imminent risk. And the United States has no security treaty obligating it to defend Saudi Arabia.

Yes, American strategic interests are undoubtedly at stake because of the strike on the Aramco facilities — causing a short-term rise in oil prices, longer-term uncertainty about global energy supplies and broader instability in the Middle East. But decisions about whether such national interests constitute casus belli was never, in my reading of the Framers’ writings, meant to be lodged in the presidency alone. As central as the creation of the executive office to the functioning of the new constitutional order was meant to be, there were expected limits, republican in character, to the president’s prerogative.

However, as I have written elsewhere, the grounds for expanding the president’s authorities in this area have in practice coincided with America’s growing role in the world. What constituted “defending” the US in 1900 and 1949 is obviously not the same as it was in 1787. That said, presidents have generally not acted unilaterally when it comes to engaging in conflict outside of treaty obligations, congressional authorizations, or protecting American lives and property. Yet, increasingly, presidents have come to justify military strikes, and even major campaigns, as constitutionally legitimate if they are executed in the name of protecting “the national interest,” acting for “humanitarian reasons,” or, in the case of the Obama and Trump administrations, defining down what “hostilities” (that is, war) means. Most times, claims that America is acting as “policeman to the world” are bogus. However, when presidents make the claim that vague notions of the national interest are sufficient to order troops into conflict, it effectively allows them to use US armed forces as global policemen.

As pragmatic as the founding generation was in dealing with the world as it is, rather than what one might hope it could be, giving the president monarchical-like discretion in this instance was never in the cards if for no other reason than the citizens of the young republic would not have accepted it. Even Alexander Hamilton’s defense of a broad executive authority in his Pacificus’ essays stops short of claiming such an authority.

Ironically, Congress has ceded its authority in such decisions by the enactment of the War Powers Act of 1973. Although initially intended to put Congress back in the game over the commitment of US forces into hostilities, with the Supreme Court rejecting the legislative veto as unconstitutional in the 1983 case INS v Chadha, the mechanism for doing so was stripped from the law. What’s left on the books however is a 60-day window in which the president can act on his own, requiring only that he report to the Congress as to his actions.

Perhaps it was inevitable that the Constitution’s establishment of an independent and unitary executive, when combined with America’s role in the world, would strain and eventually break the original limit on the war-making authority the Framers intended. In this respect then, conservative constitutionalists, “originalists,” will have to concede that, for better or worse, we are now living under a “living constitution.” Or, if not, they would seem to be obligated to push members of Congress, particularly members of the president’s own party, to reassert Congress’ role in this matter. One doesn’t have to be a Rand Paul libertarian to argue that, as important as presidential discretion is within our system of separated powers, there should remain boundaries to its exercise.“

Der Artikel zeigt, dass die US-Verfassung und das politische System der USA trotz angeblicher check and balances einen kriegsunwilligen,autoritären Präsidenten nicht oder kaum aufzuhalten vermag.Die lebenslange Ernennung von Obersten Richtern des Supreme Court,das Notstandsgesetz von 1977,der War Power Act,die Bestimmungen der US- Verfassung zur Mitgliedschaft in internationalen Organisationen wie UNO,NATO oder WTO lassen Trump da jede Menge legalen Spielraum.Der War Powers Act ermächtigt den Präsidenten 60 Tage lang Truppen nach seinem Gusto einzusetzen, dem Kongress nur zu berichten, bis dieser dann ein Mitspracherecht bei einem dann schon laufenden Krieg bekommt. Zum Notstandsgesetz von 1977 kann man lesen:

„“Wir brauchen China nicht und -ehrlich gesagt-ginge es uns ohne sie besser“, schrieb der US-Präsident in einer ganzen Serie wütender Tweets. US-Firmen sei „hiermit befohlen, sich sofort um Alternativen von China zu bemühen“ und Produkte wieder in den USA herzustellen. Experten zeigten sich irritiert und wandten ein, ihnen sei nicht klar, wie der Präsident Unternehmen Geschäfte mit China untersagen wolle. Trump verwies auf ein Gesetz von 1977. Damit könnte er womöglich einen nationalen Notstand mit Blick auf China erklären und so den Handel mit dem Land regulieren“.

(Münchner Merkur v.26.8.2019, S.5)

Selbst das AEI bekommt da nun Bedenken bezüglich der Verfassung. Diese ist für eine Schönwetterdemokratie ausgelegt,in der es einen stillschweigenden Konsens der beiden großen Parteien und der Eliten gab,der zunehmend seit der Wahl Newt Gingrichs als Vorsitzender des Repräsentantenhauses, der Rechtsradikalisierung der Republikanischen Partei schleichend und nun unter Trump gänzlich zerstört wurde. In GB dasselbe. Johnsons Zwangspause des Parlaments ist verfassungsrechtlich möglich.Die Gerichte müssen jetzt darüber entscheiden.Es zeigt aber,dass die Behauptung,dass die angelsächsischen Verfassungssysteme autoritätsresistent sind,eher ein Mythos sind.

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