The Unconstitutional Constitution
Charles Krauthammer declares, “No president should accept — and no president from Nixon on has accepted — the constitutionality of the WPR, passed unilaterally by Congress over a presidential veto.”
While the Constitutionality of the War Powers Act is indeed dubious, the fact that it was passed over Nixon’s veto isn’t the reason. The Framers put the override power in Article I for a reason, after all. Having to achieve a supermajority in both Houses of Congress is a high hurdle, making the veto power quite a strong tool–one that’s used with shocking rarity. But for a president to have the unilateral power to kill any legislation he disliked without Congressional recourse would upend the careful set of checks and balances built into the system.
Krauthammer’s argument is of a piece with those who argue that some Constitutional amendments are unconstitutional because they conflict with the document envisioned by the Framers, totally missing the point of the amendment process.