United States Government

United States Government

Lessons Notes, Week 2 The Three Branches of Government: Congress and the Presidency ATTACHED

John Yoo, From Memorandum Opinion for the Deputy Counsel to the President (September 25, 2001) Karen Greenberg and Joshua Dratel. The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib. 2005. ATTACHED

Michael Cairo, from “The Imperial Presidency Triumphant” in Christopher Kelly’s, ed. Executing the Constitution (SUNY, 2006) ATTACHED

Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, from The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get Back on Track (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Lee Hamilton, from How Congress Works (Indiana University Press, 2004)

Miller, William, “Is Congress a Dysfunctional Institution?” Taking Sides (2014) on pp. 85-90. ATTACHED


Since the ratification of the US Constitution, the United States Congress has declared war only 5 times; The War of 1812, The Mexican War, the Spanish-American War and World War I and World War II. Yet, in this more than 225 year period, US armed forces have been used abroad more than 200 times to carry out US objectives under the leadership of the president.

Since the 1930s, we have seen the modern president grow in informal power and with this an increase in the war powers of the presidency.

Evaluate the following question:

In today’s international arena, should the president have unilateral powers to commit the armed forces in conflict abroad? Why or why not?

To assist you in your response, please read the article “”Does the President Have Unilateral War Powers?” in the eBook Taking Sides on pages 61-66. ATTACHED
United States Government