Congressional Authorization of the Campaign Against ISIL

Tyler Salway

This Note argues that Congress has already expressly or implicitly authorized the use of force against ISIL through past legislation. I make this argument by applying the existing evidence of authorization of force to the framework laid by Youngstown. The argument is two-fold: that the hostilities are expressly authorized under the 9/11 AUMF and that the hostilities are implicitly authorized by congressional appropriations.

In Part I of this note, I outline both the birth and rise of ISIL. I examine the background of the organization in order to illustrate why ISIL falls within the scope of the 9/11 AUMF. Part II of this Note then explains the manners in which Congress has already granted authorization to use force. In Part II.A, I outline how Congress has explicitly authorized the executive to use force against ISIL through the 9/11 AUMF. In Part II.B, I explore how Congress has implicitly authorized the executive to use force against ISIL through appropriations. In Part III, I examine how the avenue used by the Obama administration could be used by President Trump as he continues the campaign against ISIL.

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