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The Virtues of Conflict Over War Powers

1:10 PM, Jun 16, 2011 • By BENJAMIN KLEINERMAN and VINCENT PHILLIP MUñOZ
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Congress must keep an overactive presidency accountable. Similarly, the president must ward off the lethargy endemic to collective institutions that can be disastrous in foreign affairs. Each branch of government must exercise its own powers for our system of government to work well. That will lead to inter-branch conflict.

But conflict, especially constitutional conflict, is a healthy part of our political system. To aim simply for inter-branch cooperation is to misunderstand how the Founding Fathers designed our Constitution to produce an effective and deliberative foreign policy.

Benjamin Kleinerman is the Garwood visiting fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. Vincent Phillip Muñoz is an associate professor in the department of political science and school of law at the University of Notre Dame. 

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