Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches


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Madam Speaker, the United States is engaged in a war in the name of humanity. The President's actions did not follow the Constitution. They do not follow the War Powers Resolution. It is an unconstitutional action on the part of the United States.

I served on the bench in Texas for over 20 years trying criminal cases. In our daily business, we followed the law. And the law required that you have a trial. If convicted, the person was sentenced. I never tried a case that a person was so bad we just skipped the trial and we went ahead and sentenced them and then had the trial later to prove it was a good idea. We followed the law. And the same law that required a procedure in a trial that is in the U.S. Constitution, the Constitution also says there is a procedure for going to war. And the procedure is that Congress, not the President, instigates war.

James Madison, a person who wrote the Constitution, said the Constitution supposes what the history of all government demonstrates: that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it. Therefore, with studied care, we have vested the question of war with the legislature. That would be us. Congress. We have not fulfilled our obligation.

The war in Libya violates the Constitution, the War Powers Act. It is not in the national security of the United States. It is said, Well, the French, we may disrespect the French. Well, I say to the French: You respect our Constitution, and our Constitution says that the declaration and going to war is the responsibility of Congress, not any executive.

It has been said that the Constitution may be inconvenient, but it is meant to be, Madam Speaker. War is a serious matter, and Presidents and Congresses should be inconvenienced on the road to war.

And that's just the way it is.

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