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Obama agenda: Constitutional authority?

Did the president, a onetime constitutional law scholar, have the constitutional authority to do what his administration did in Libya? The New York Times looks at the history of the debate over congressional authorization and executive power in initiating military action. And it observes: "The administration’s legal team appears to be distinguishing between a full war and a more limited military operation, on the theory that the Libyan intervention falls short of what would prompt any Congressional authority to control decisions about whether to initiate hostilities."

Foreign Policy’s Peter Feaver has a good question: “Where is Biden?” “[T]here is a very curious missing figure in that picture: Vice President Biden,” Feaver writes. “I may have missed it, but I don't think he figures in any of the accounts and, come to think of it, he does not feature prominently in the reporting on the issue for the past several weeks. This is very curious because, of course, the whole reason President Obama picked Biden as VP was for precisely these sorts of moments when the entire foreign-policy establishment is strained to the breaking point by the accelerated crush of world events. But Biden seems to have been a non-player in all of this.”