Wednesday, February 28, 2007

National War Powers Commission established by Miller Center

Former Secretaries of State Baker and Christopher to Lead Bipartisan Group to Examine Constitutional Issues

The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia today announced the formation of the National War Powers Commission, a private bipartisan panel led by former Secretaries of State James A. Baker, III and Warren Christopher.

The Commission will examine how the Constitution allocates the powers of beginning, conducting, and ending war.
When armed conflict is looming, debates about separation of powers and the uncertainty they often generate can impair relations among the branches of government, cast doubt on the legitimacy of government action, and prevent focused attention on policy. Armed conflicts with non-state actors and other non-traditional "wars," as well as the courts' involvement in war powers questions, make the Commission's work relevant.
"Few matters are more important to our nation than how we make decisions of war and peace," said former Virginia Governor Gerald L. Baliles, Director of the Miller Center. "But war powers questions have bedeviled a host of Presidents, members of Congress, and judges for more than two hundred years. With its wide-ranging experience, this Commission is uniquely qualified to attempt to provide insights into how best to resolve these difficult questions."
Commission Co-Chairs Baker and Christopher have worked with Governor Baliles to assemble the group (in alphabetical order): Slade Gorton, former U.S. Senator from Washington; Lee H. Hamilton, former Member of Congress from Indiana; Carla A. Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative; John O. Marsh, Jr., former Secretary of the Army; Edwin Meese, III, former U.S. Attorney General; Abner J. Mikva, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; J. Paul Reason, former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor; Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; and Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will serve as the Commission's historical advisor. John T. Casteen, III, President of the University of Virginia, and David W. Leebron, President of Rice University, will serve as ex officio members. John C. Jeffries, Jr., Dean and the Emerson Spies and Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law of the University of Virginia School of Law, and W. Taylor Reveley, III, Dean and John Stewart Bryan Professor of Jurisprudence at the William & Mary School of Law, have been named Co-Directors of the Commission.

The panel is expected to convene its first meeting April 3-4.
The James A. Baker, III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, Stanford Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, and the William & Mary School of Law will serve as partnering institutions.

For more information, click here.