At 1 hour ago, SadisticMonkey wrote:
Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.
Article II, Section 4: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
Okay so far.
Whereas the cornerstone of the Republic is honoring Congress's exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution:
Article I, Section 8, Clause 11: "[The Congress shall have Power] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;"
This is where it gets tricky. Does "declaration of war" mean the same thing as "use of offensive military force"?
What you missed when reading this, Sadi, is that this resolution exists specifically to make the answer to that question "yes." Technically, the use of offensive military force without an overt declaration of war IS NOT legally defined by American law as a declaration of war as of yet. So (assuming you speak of Libya) because Obama did not declare war against Libya, it is not an impeachable offense. Bush, on the other hand, declared war against Iraq without approval by an act of Congress, which was an impeachable offense.
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress's exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.
Here's where your argument falls apart completely: it is stated absolutely NOWHERE in this resolution:
1) that any specific President should be charged under this resolution;
2) that the resolution is retroactive.
In other words, if this bill passes (which it might not), Obama can not be legally impeached under it on charges of any military action he has taken thus far. He could be impeached IF AND ONLY IF he uses offensive military force without an act of Congress AFTER this resolution passes.
So no, there is no legal precedent for Obama to be impeached to date. Sorry to disappoint you.