Ben Scotch and Uncle Sam thinking

Ben Scotch: “Who Decides About War?”

Sunday, November 12 at 4:00 pm

Benson Scotch explores explores the constitutional, political, strategic, and historical factors that have influenced the use of America’s military force in his multi-media presentation, “Who Decides About War?” His discussion focuses on the question of what constitutes “war” in the 21st century and what are the legal bases for deploying the United States’ military power.

He includes discussions of the 1973 War Powers Act, the Authorization for Use of Military Force, and the President’s powers as Commander-in-Chief and also considers the interplay of domestic law and the international law of armed combat, as well as the lessons to be learned from the U.S.’s use of military force.

Ben Scotch is a retired lawyer living in Montpelier. He was a co-organizer of the 2009 “Who Decides About War” symposium at the Georgetown University Law Center.

In the 1970s he was in charge of environmental enforcement for the Vermont Attorney General’s Office. From 1981 to 1985 he served as Sen. Patrick Leahy’s Senate Judiciary Committee aide, followed by a 15-year term as chief staff attorney of the Vermont Supreme Court, after which he served for three years as Executive Director of the ACLU of Vermont.

Admission is free. Donations are cheerfully accepted.

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This event is the first in the Barre Historical Society’s Thomas C. Davis Public Issues Series of occasional presentations to honor the late Tom Davis, of Barre, a long-time member of the Barre Historical Society board of directors. Tom Davis, who died at age 85 on Feb. 16, 2017, served as the first director of the Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity and as Secretary of Human Services, among other important public positions.