Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano is criticizing President Obama for seeking congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria after previously criticizing Obama for not seeking congressional authorization for a military strike on Libya.
Obama said he would seek Congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria during a September 1 speech. He stated that he believed the nation's power is rooted "in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people," adding: "[W]hile I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective. We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual."
Napolitano criticized Obama for seeking legislative approval of military action in Syria during a September 3 appearance on Fox & Friends, calling his actions "mystifying legally why the president is asking Congress for authority to do something that it has already given him authority to do," citing the executive power granted under the War Powers Act to use U.S. forces in some circumstances for 90 days without congressional authorization. Napolitano and co-host Steve Doocy agreed this indicated Obama was treating Syria as a political issue.
While Napolitano is now criticizing Obama's effort to seek congressional authorization for a military strike, he previously criticized Obama for preparing a military strike without that authorization. In March 2011, when President Obama was considering military action against Libya without seeking congressional authorization, Napolitano warned that Obama could use "a terrible law called the War Powers Act," asking Sen. Mike Lee whether Obama was "planning to do something like that, whether the American people or the Congress wants it or not? Even though the Constitution says only Congress shall declare war?"
From the March 7, 2011, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
NAPOLITANO: Senator Lee, it's interesting that Senator Paul said that he's reluctant to vote. You know as well as I that under a terrible law called the War Powers Act, the president can commit to us a land war, or an air war, whatever he wants to do, for 90 days and then renew it for another 90 days and there's nothing the Congress can do about it.
Is he planning to do something like that, whether the American people, whether the Congress wants it or not? Even though the Constitution says only Congress shall declare war?