In a bold move, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has declared it would be unconstitutional for the president to go to war without consulting Congress.
Further, Biden has pledged to demand the president’s impeachment should he do so.
Said Biden: “I want to make it clear and I made it clear to the president, if he takes this nation to war… without congressional approval — I will make it my business to impeach him.”
The vice president — who has taught constitutional law at the university level — elaborated on his views in this statement: “It is precisely because the consequences of war — intended or otherwise — can be so profound and complicated that our Founding Fathers vested in Congress, not the President, the power to initiate war, except to repel an imminent attack on the United States or its citizens. They reasoned that requiring the President to come to Congress first would slow things down… allow for more careful decision making before sending Americans to fight and die… and ensure broader public support.
“The Founding Fathers were, as in most things, profoundly right. That’s why I want to be very clear: if the President takes us to war… without Congressional approval, I will call for his impeachment.
“I do not say this lightly or to be provocative. I am dead serious. I have chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. I still teach constitutional law. I’ve consulted with some of our leading constitutional scholars. The Constitution is clear. And so am I.
“I’m saying this now to put the administration on notice and hopefully to deter the President from taking unilateral action in the last year of his administration. If war is warranted with a nation of 70 million people, it warrants coming to Congress and the American people first. ”
The only problem… those remarks were made in 2007 and 2008. When Biden was running for president. Before he was elected vice president of the U.S.
For that matter, then-Senator Barack Obama agreed with him. In 2008 Obama told the Boston Globe: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Funny how being in the White House changes things.
(Hat tip to Andrew Kaczynski, BuzzFeed.com)