Critics question constitutionality of Obama’s Libyan operation

President Obama's authority to order military action in Libya without congressional approval is being challenged by some on capitol hill and elsewhere. KUSI's Ed Lenderman reports on what the critics are saying.

The critics are weighing in but so is a local Republican congressman who says the president acted as he should have.

The U.S. air strikes, without congressional approval, are drawing strong criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a liberal Democrat, says President Obama has exceeded his presidential powers, spelled out in the constitution, “the constitution makes it very clear, that the congress under article 1, section 8, has the power to declare war. The president is commander-in-chief, but only after congress takes action can he sent troops into conflict.”

Texas Republican, Representative Ron Paul said, “I don't think we have the authority, the constitutional authority and most of the time, these things backfire.”

Nonsense says San Diego area Congressman Duncan D. Hunter. Hunter says he's no constitutional scholar, but the former Marine Officer who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, says the president acted as he should have. What's more says Hunter, he had the power to do it.

“You've got to take politics out, this is foreign policy, the president is doing the right thing, protecting American interests and doing what America does as a judeo-Christian country, protecting those who can't protect themselves,” said Hunter.

Having said that, Congressman Hunter says no boots on the ground and that soon, the president needs to, at the very least, meet with congressional leaders. “Here's what I've done, we can continue or get out or do what congress votes on, that has to be done, but  the war powers resolution says he can do this on behalf of the nation, for a limited amount of time, I believe it's ninety-days,” said Hunter.

“President Bush did it, Reagan, Clinton they all did it quite frankly I didn't see this kind of criticism, well, I wasn't around, but there wasn't this kind of criticism when President Reagan bombed Libya and went after Gadhafi, so I guess it depends on politics,” said Congressman Duncan D. Hunter.

Here, again, the Congressman reiterated, extremely limited involvement, the U.S. part of a broad coalition, where America is not going to be the leader, protecting innocent Libyans.

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