Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme leader of Iran, has recently made a number of statements calling on the need for Iran to “destroy and obliterate” Israel and the United States, calling them the “Great Satan” and “enemies of Allah.” Iran then sends 10 armed warships to block the strait of Hormuz (a public waterway that separates the Persian gulf from the open ocean and through which approximately 20% of the world’s petroleum passes each day). In response, the U.S. President asked for, and Congress appropriated, funding for 20 warships to be deployed to “patrol the Persian Gulf, including the Strait of Hormuz, and to protect United States citizens.” Pursuant to this appropriations bill, the President sends 20 armed warships to the Persian Gulf. The ships pass through the Gulf and Strait for seven straight days without incident. On the 8th day, the President receives secret intelligence that Iran is planning on bombing one of the U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. The intelligence reveals that the attack is planned to take place in five days, and that Iran has begun preparing a military facility for use in the attack. Without consulting Congress, the President authorizes one of the U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf to complete an air strike on the Iranian land-based military installation from which the President believes the strike against the US ship will take place. The strike is carried out and is successful in destroying the military installation.
Upset over lack of Congressional involvement regarding the strike, Senator Boller asks you to draft a memo (1,000-1,800 words) on whether the President’s actions complied with relevant law and the Constitution. He also wants to know some of the arguments the President will likely make to support his actions and whether these arguments are persuasive. Cite and quote relevant cases and statutes. To answer this question, rely on Orlando v. Laird, the War Powers Resolution, chapter 12, relevant notes, and any other material from Units 1 or 2 which might be helpful for analyzing whether the President’s actions are legal. The memo should use headings for organization, state clearly the applicable legal issues and rules, and then have detailed analysis and a conclusion.
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