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James Baker, Warren Christopher Head New Pane
Private Bipartisan Commission to Assess Congress's War Powers
By CHRISTINA DAVIDSON 03/01/2007 10:39 AM ET
Photo by Jamie Rose/Getty Images
In the coming months, the debate surrounding Congress's war powers responsibilities and limitations under the Constitution will be getting a chorus of august senior statesmen and experts chiming in with a consensus opinion.

The University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs has announced the formation of the National War Powers Commission, a private bipartisan panel led by former Secretaries of State James A. Baker, III and Warren Christopher.

The Commission's stated goal is to examine how the Constitution allocates the powers of beginning, conducting, and ending war. The first meeting is scheduled to convene April 3-4, but they have yet to determine how long it will take to produce a final report.

Baker and Christopher have worked with Virginia Governor, Gerald Baliles, to assemble an impressive roster for the bipartisan panel: Slade Gorton, former U.S. Senator from Washington; Lee H. Hamilton, former Member of Congress from Indiana; Carla A. Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative; John O. Marsh, Jr., former Secretary of the Army; Edwin Meese, III, former U.S. Attorney General; Abner J. Mikva, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; J. Paul Reason, former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor; Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; and Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution.

“Few matters are more important to our nation than how we make decisions of war and peace,” said former Virginia Governor Gerald L. Baliles, Director of the Miller Center. “But war powers questions have bedeviled a host of Presidents, members of Congress, and judges for more than two hundred years. With its wide-ranging experience, this Commission is uniquely qualified to attempt to provide insights into how best to resolve these difficult questions.”

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