Libya Campaign Could Violate War Powers Law

HeadlineMay 24, 2011

The Obama administration is facing questions over whether the U.S. role in the attack on Libya is violating federal law. Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the President has 60 days to deploy the armed forces without congressional approval. The 60-day window passed on Friday. The White House has maintained it does not need congressional backing for what it calls a “limited” operation like the Libya attack. But in a letter to Obama last week, a group of Republican senators warned Obama about the 60-day deadline and urged him to seek congressional approval. Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, says the Libya operation marks the first time any president has violated the War Powers Resolution’s provisions on either the 60-day window or on obtaining congressional backing.

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