1. Update
  2. U.S. Wars & Militarism

FCNL's Heather Brandon-Smith Offers Expert Testimony on the 2001 AUMF and Iran

August 7, 2019


Tensions with Iran are running high. As the current standoff threatens to escalate into open hostilities, the administration has argued that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) could be used to justify war with Iran.

To examine these and other important questions though a nonpartisan lens, a panel of experts was assembled to discuss executive-legislative relations, constitutional war powers, and the applicability of the 2001 AUMF to future conflicts. Heather Brandon-Smith, FCNL's legislative director for militarism and human rights, was one of three legal scholars from across the ideological spectrum who was invited to testify.

Watch the discussion on C-Span.

The event was hosted by the Charles Koch Institute and featured:

  • Stephen Vladeck from the University of Texas’s School of Law
  • Gene Healy of the Cato Institute
  • Heather Brandon-Smith of FCNL and Georgetown Law

Learn More

Legislative Ask No More Blank Check for War 

Congress Must Decide When the U.S. Goes to War

Since 9/11, three U.S. presidents have used the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the 2002 Iraq AUMF to justify U.S. military action across the globe without congressional approval. According to public records, the 2001 AUMF has been used to justify 41 military operations in 19 countries.

Background End the Blank Check for War 

Since 9/11, three U.S. presidents have used the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the 2002 Iraq AUMF to justify U.S. military action across the globe without congressional approval or effective oversight.