War by Legislation: The Constitutionality of Congressional Regulation of Detentions in Armed Conflicts

Ford, Christopher M. | June 25, 2016

In this essay, Ford considers provisions of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which place restrictions on the disposition of detainees held in Guantánamo Bay. These provisions raise substantial separation of powers issues regarding the ability of Congress to restrict detention operations of the Executive. These restrictions, and similar restrictions found in earlier NDAAs, specifically implicate the Executive’s powers in foreign affairs and as Command in Chief. Ford concludes that, with the exception of a similar provision found in the 2013 NDAA, the restrictions are constitutional.