SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 55

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 19, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Turner, Sweeney, Rice and Cunningham

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges President and Secretary of Defense to withdraw NJ National Guard from Iraq and withholds consent of Governor and Legislature from further National Guard deployments to Iraq.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution urging the President and Secretary of Defense to withdraw all New Jersey National Guard troops from Iraq in absence of a valid and subsisting Congressional mandate for such service; urging the Department of Defense to cancel the pending deployment of the 50th Heavy Brigade Combat Team to Iraq in the absence of such mandate; and withholding the consent of the Governor and State Legislature from any further deployment of the New Jersey National Guard to Iraq in the absence of such mandate.  

 

Whereas, The war in Iraq has entered its sixth year, resulting in the deaths of over 4,000 American service men and women, and the cost of the war now exceeds $1.3 trillion, $16,500 for each American family of four, and continues to rise; and

Whereas, On October 19, 2007, the Department of the Army alerted the 50th Heavy Brigade Combat Team of the New Jersey National Guard, based at Fort Dix, to prepare for deployment to Iraq in the autumn of 2008; and

Whereas, The planned deployment of National Guard forces represents roughly 50% of the total strength of the New Jersey National Guard, making this the largest deployment of New Jersey National Guard personnel since World War II; and

Whereas, Governor Corzine has expressed concern that the loss of the National Guard’s heavy trucks and Blackhawk helicopters may impair the State’s ability to respond to an emergency; and

Whereas, Even if such adverse impacts on the New Jersey National Guard were absent, and assuming arguendo that the war was lawful when commenced, the presence of the Guard members in Iraq is not now lawful.  Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 of the United States Constitution, Congress may call forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrection, and repel invasions; and

Whereas, Since 1933, federal law has provided that persons enlisting in a state National Guard unit simultaneously enlist in the National Guard of the United States, part of the U.S. Army.  The enlistees retain their status as state guard members unless and until ordered to active federal duty and then revert to state status upon being relieved from federal service; and

Whereas, Under the U.S. Constitution, each state’s National Guard unit is controlled by the governor, but can be called up for federal duty by the President, provided that the President is acting pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the United States; and

Whereas, The War Powers Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-148) specifically limits the power of the President of the United States to wage war without the approval of Congress; and

Whereas, In October 2002, the U.S. Congress authorized military force under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, (Public Law No. 107-243) (AUMF), a law enacted in response to a presidential request under the War Powers Act.  The AUMF stated in part that the President is authorized to use the armed forces of United States as he determines to be necessary and  appropriate  in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and enforce all relevant  United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq; and

Whereas, The AUMF contained neither a termination date, nor a process or procedure to determine when the authorization should terminate; and

Whereas, U.S forces, including members of the New Jersey National Guard and guard members from other states, have long since addressed the purposes recited under the AUMF, and Iraq does not pose a continuing threat to the national security of the United States, nor is there an extant United Nations Security Council Resolution to be enforced; and

Whereas, The President may not maintain U.S. forces, and in particular members of the New Jersey National Guard, in Iraq other than for the purposes set forth by Congress in the AUMF.  Without a specific date for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in the AUMF or a method or formula for determining the time for withdrawal, and in the absence of Congressional legislation curing these omissions, the President is required to order the withdrawal of troops within a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner. The President has taken no such action; and

Whereas, Other than the AUMF, there is no authority under the Constitution or the laws of the United States for the continued presence of New Jersey National Guard members in Iraq; and

Whereas, The maintenance of New Jersey National Guard members in Iraq beyond the time and scope set for the in the AUMF has resulted in significant harm to Guard members and their families, including death and injury, loss of time together, and financial hardships; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  The Governor and Legislature of the State of New Jersey declare that the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force of October 16, 2002 has expired and no further authorization has issued, and therefore the President is urged to order the return of the New Jersey National Guard’s 50th Heavy Brigade Combat Team.

 

     2.    The Governor and Legislature resolve that the New Jersey National Guard shall hereafter be limited to service within and on behalf of the State of New Jersey, unless called into federal service pursuant to a declaration of war or a duly enacted and substituting federal statute authorizing the use of military force.

     3.    The New Jersey Attorney General is authorized to appear in any state or federal court with jurisdiction over the deployment of the New Jersey National Guard to defend any decision to consent, or not consent, to the deployment of the New Jersey National Guard to Iraq; or to file an action on behalf of the State of New Jersey with respect to the same subject matter.

 

     4.  This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This joint resolution addresses the limits to the Constitutional and statutory authority of the President and Department of Defense to federalize and deploy the New Jersey National Guard to Iraq, absent a valid and subsisting mandate from Congress.  The resolution declares that the authority for the deployment of New Jersey National Guard members to Iraq has terminated and requests that in the absence of valid federal authorization for their deployment to Iraq, the President order the return of New Jersey National Guard members to New Jersey.  The President and Secretary of Defense are urged to cancel the pending deployment of the 50th Heavy Brigade Combat Team to Iraq.  The resolution declares that New Jersey National Guard members must hereafter be limited to service within and on behalf of the State of New Jersey, and resolves that consent to further federalization and deployment of New Jersey National Guard members to Iraq must be withheld, unless the New Jersey National Guard is properly and lawfully called into federal service under a valid and subsisting authorization from Congress.