Memorandum for Daniel J. Bryant, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs: Re: Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 [October 21, 2002] [open pdf - 705KB]
"This memorandum confirms the views of the Office of Legal Counsel, expressed to you last week, on H. J. Res. [House Joint Resolution] 114, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. This resolution authorizes the President to use the United States Armed Forces, 'as he determines to be necessary and appropriate,' either to 'defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq,' or to 'enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.' H. J. Res. 114, § 3(a). We have no constitutional objection to Congress expressing its support for the use of military force against Iraq. Indeed, the Office of Legal Counsel was an active participant in the drafting of and negotiations over H. J. Res. 114. We have long maintained, however, that resolutions such as H. J. Res. 114 are legally unnecessary."
U.S. Dept. of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/