While many in Congress are praising President Donald Trump’s decision to launch missile strikes on a Syrian airbase, some are questioning whether he overstepped his executive power by doing so without Congressional approval.
The strike was in response to a chemical attack that killed more than 100 people.
“It’s just another example of this debate of what is war?” University of North Florida Director of pre-Law Adrienne Lerner said.
Lerner explained that according to the constitution, Congress is supposed to declare war.
“The constitutional language is there. The constitutional language does say it is Congress’ role to declare war,” Lerner said.
However, the line has been blurred during past presidencies, especially post-9/11.
President Trump ruffled some feathers in Washington by authorizing the missile strike without approval from Congress.
The problem, Lerner said, is in the ambiguity of “war” and essentially defining what constitutes an act of war and what does not.
“That leaves an interpretive question for what happens when it’s less than war? Or a temporary operation or an operation to respond to a targeted threat?” Lerner said.
Lerner said the big question now is what Trump will do next to determine whether the missile strike is an isolated act or the start of a lengthier intervention effort.