This book describes the constitutional law of foreign affairs, derived from the historical understanding of the Constitution's text. It examines timeless and recurring foreign affairs controversies--such as the role of the president and Congress, the power to enter armed conflict, and the power to make and break treaties--and shows how the words, structure, and context of the Constitution can resolve pivotal court cases and leading modern disputes. The book provides a counterpoint to much conventional discussion of constitutional foreign affairs law, which tends to assume that the Constitution's text and history cannot give much guidance, and which rests many of its arguments upon modern practice and policy considerations.
Using a close focus on the text and a wide array of historical sources, Michael Ramsey argues that the Constitution's original design gives the president substantial independent powers in foreign affairs. But, contrary to what many presidents and presidential advisors contend, these powers are balanced by the independent powers given to Congress, the Senate, the states, and the courts. The Constitution, Ramsey concludes, does not make any branch of government the ultimate decision maker in foreign affairs, but rather divides authority among multiple independent power centers.
Michael D. Ramsey is Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law.
Acknowledgments Introduction: A Textual Theory of Foreign Affairs Law Part I: Sources of National Power 1. Do Foreign Affairs Powers Come from the Constitution? Curtiss--Wright and the Myth of Inherent Powers 2. Foreign Affairs and the Articles of Confederation: The Constitution in Context Part II: Presidential Power in Foreign Affairs 3. The Steel Seizure Case and the Executive Power over Foreign Affairs 4. Executive Foreign Affairs Power and the Washington Administration 5. Steel Seizure Revisited: The Limits of Executive Power 6. Executive Power and Its Critics Part III: Shared Powers of the Senate 7. The Executive Senate: Treaties and Appointments 8. Goldwater v. Carter: Do Treaties Bind the President? 9. The Non-Treaty Power: Executive Agreements and United States v. Belmont Part IV: Congress's Foreign Affairs Powers 10. Legislative Power in Foreign Affairs: Why NAFTA Is (Sort of) Unconstitutional 11. The Meanings of Declaring War 12. Beyond Declaring War: War Powers of Congress and the President Part V: States and Foreign Affairs 13. Can States Have Foreign Policies? Zschernig v. Miller and the Limits of Framers' Intent 14. States versus the President: The Holocaust Insurance Case 15. Missouri v. Holland and the Seventeenth Amendment Part VI: Courts and Foreign Affairs 16. Judging Foreign Affairs: Goldwater v. Carter Revisited 17. The Paquete Habana: Is International Law Part of Our Law? 18. Courts and Presidents in Foreign Affairs Conclusion: Text as Law in Foreign Affairs Notes Index