The War Power and the Commander in Chief

  • Michael A. Genovese
  • Robert J. Spitzer


No power of government is more momentous than that concerning war and peace. In the twentieth century, many presidents cited the commander-in-chief power as a basis for instituting military action, as if the power over military decisions rested with the president alone. Yet this is not what the Constitution says, nor was it the intention of the framers. As the wording of Article II of the Constitution says, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” The Congress does the calling.


Armed Conflict American Citizen Military Tribunal Military Commission Habeas Corpus 
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Copyright information

© Michael A. Genovese 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Genovese
    • 1
  • Robert J. Spitzer
    • 2
  1. 1.Loyola Marymount UniversityUSA
  2. 2.SUNY CortlandUSA

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