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LII Backgrounder on National Security Law and Counter-Terrorism

...the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances.

--50 U.S. Code 33 §1541(a) (War Powers Resolution)

The Coordination of US Government Powers

The Executive Branch

The President may introduce the US armed forces into hostilities in the event of (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces -- 50 USC 33, § 1541(c)

Emergency Powers and Executive Privilege

Military Order: Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism--1665 Federal Register. (pdf) (text)

The President may (see 50 USC 33, § 1621(b) and has declared a National Emergency by reason of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.

The Legislative Branch

All Legislation related to the attack of September 11th on the Thomas server

Of particular note:

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) (pdf) Act of 2001 signed into law by President Bush on friday October 26th. The HTML version with index headings (on the Thomas server), the HTML version (full)

The Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act HR 2926

The Victims of Terrorism Relief Act of 2001 H.R.2884 (provides tax relief for victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11th.)

Joint Resolution of 107th Congress : authorized the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001. PDF version

Congress has the power to declare war. US. Constitution, Article I, Section 8

The Judicial Branch

"... A state of actual war may exist without any formal declaration of it by either party, and this is true of both a civil and a foreign war" in which the President is "bound to meet it in the shape it presented itself." The Prize Cases, 67 U.S. 635 (1863)

See also Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952) regarding Executive and Judicial Power.

 

 
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