Mora v. McNamara [Sec. Defense] Case Brief

Summary of Mora v. McNamara [Sec. Defense]
389 U.S. 934 [1967]

War and National Defense:

Relevant Facts: Petitioners were drafted into the Army and six months later ordered to the West Coast for shipment to Vietnam.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the U.S. involvement was a “War," and if so could the petitioner be ordered by the Executive to participate absent a declaration?

Court’s Holding: Undetermined.

Procedure: The D. Ct. dismissed the suit, Ct. of App affirmed; Petition for Writ of certiorari to the U. S. Ct. of App. Denied

Law or Rule(s): A1S8C11 – Congress shall have the power to declarations of war.

Court Rationale: Ct ruled the issue was not justiciable, lacked a controversy on which a determination could be rendered. Conflicts between the Congress and the President are not justiciable issues the petitioner can raise. The Petitioners’ disputes are differences of contingency or abstract character.

Plaintiff’s Argument:(Mora) The Vietnam conflict is not a war, and if so, Congress has not declared it to be such.

Defendant’s Argument: (McNamara) The President can take emergency action to protect the security of the U.S. and further military action only requires approval of Congress not a formal declaration of war.

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