April 22, 2009
When lawyers and judges cite the original intent of the framers of the Constitution, they’re often marshaling conservative arguments. And Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, noted for his right-leaning views, is a leading figure in the stick-to-the-original-text school of jurisprudence.
[efoods]But conservatives don’t hold a monopoly on the theory.
In federal court in Newark yesterday, a Rutgers University law professor arguing a lawsuit on behalf of a peace group told a judge that President George W. Bush violated the Constitution’s initial intent when he ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Frank Askin, founder of the constitutional litigation clinic at the Rutgers School of Law in Newark, said the framers clearly gave Congress — not the president — authority to declare war. Afterward, he even mentioned Scalia.
“We think Scalia is going to love this case. It’s all about the initial intent of the founders,” said Askin, who argued the suit for the group New Jersey Peace Action.