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Copyright (c) 1980 The American Society of International Law
American Journal of International Law

COMMENT: THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL POSITION OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER AND DEPUTY ADVISER

July, 1980

74 A.J.I.L. 634

Author

Thomas M. Franck

Excerpt

In 1979, Senator Edward Zorinsky proposed an amendment to S. 586, the State Department Authorization, which, for the first time, would have established in law the specific offices of Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and his deputy, and required that presidential nominees to these posts be confirmed by the Senate.

In 1979, the Zorinsky amendment was dropped in House-Senate conference; but it has been under consideration again in 1980, and there is a continuing unease about the growth of the National Security Adviser's functions and powers, together with those of the National Security Council staff, seemingly at the expense of the Secretary of State and his associates. The State Department perceives confusion at home and abroad when two foreign policy advisers reporting directly to the President are heard in public dissonance. Congress is also concerned for another reason: that the post of National Security Adviser is another of those ingenious sleights of nomenclature -- some uses of executive agreements (at least until recent reforms in their deployment), the parallel unilateral policy declaration, 1 "personal rank" ambassadors, 2 are other suspects -- by which the Executive, from time to time, seems to have tried to exclude the legislative branch from the partnership the Constitution intended. If the authors of the Constitution could have predicted this predilection, they might well have added a final article to their handiwork stating: "Nothing that cannot be done under the foregoing articles may be done by calling ...
 
 
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