War and Responsibility: Constitutional Lessons of Vietnam and Its Aftermath

In This Review

War and Responsibility: Constitutional Lessons of Vietnam and Its Aftermath

By John Hart Ely
Princeton University Press, 1993
244 pp. $24.95
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The author, a prominent expert on constitutional law, argues in an entertaining style that the framers of the Constitution clearly intended to give Congress a decisive voice in a decision to go to war, but that Congress itself has repeatedly evaded this responsibility. He argues that the War Powers Act, while poorly drafted in some respects, is broadly constitutional and needs to be legitimized as such by the Supreme Court. Ely concludes with a long appendix offering a number of detailed suggestions of how to amend the War Powers Act.

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