My recent op-ed in The Hill begins:
The recent saber rattling against Iran
raises the question of whether the president can take the country to war
on his own. Unfortunately, much of the legal advice that presidents
have received on war powers remains in a veritable lock box in the
Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel. When questions arise about
what the government has the power to do, such as whether unilateral
action is lawful, it is often the Office of Legal Counsel, not a court
of law, that sets the scope of executive power. It builds on its own
precedent over time, creating a form of law within the executive branch.
But many Office of Legal Counsel opinions remain secret decades after
the fact. Because of this, a body of secret law has become a building
block of contemporary presidential power.
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