Reason Roundup

The U.S. Must Stop Supporting War in Yemen, Says Senate

Plus: a Rand Paul add-on makes sure measure doesn't inadvertently authorize new wars, Dick's stores are dropping guns, campus art controversy, and good 8A news


The Senate yesterday approved a resolution to end U.S. support for bombings and other acts of war in Yemen. With a 54–46 vote, lawmakers said the U.S. must block further military support for Saudi Arabia's and the United Arab Emirates' bombings and other acts of aggression in Yemen.

Congress never authorized the U.S. to enter this conflict. Yet as Mike Lee (R–Utah) said, "We have been supporting and in some case actively participating in this war." He was one of seven Republicans in the Senate who voted for the resolution, which invokes the War Powers Act. (The others were Susan Collins of Maine, Steve Daines of Montana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Todd Young of Indiana.)

"Since March 2015, members of the United States Armed Forces have been introduced into hostilities between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis, including providing to the Saudi-led coalition aerial targeting assistance, intelligence sharing, and mid-flight aerial refueling," the resolution states.

Yet "no specific statutory authorization for the use of United States Armed Forces with respect to the conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis in Yemen has been enacted, and no provision of law explicitly authorizes the provision of targeting assistance or of midair refueling services to warplanes of Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates that are engaged in such conflict."

"Nothing in this joint resolution shall be construed to influence or disrupt any military operations and cooperation with Israel," another section explicitly stipulates.

"Debate on the resolution, as in the past, centered on arguments that the US involvement isn't technically a war in and of itself, and that ending the war would be bad for Israel," writes Jason Ditz at

The resolution came with an amendment by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), which seeks to ensure that no language in the bill inadvertently authorizes any other wars. An alternative amendment by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), aiming to keep the US involved in the name of saving American civilians from conceivable missile fire, narrowly failed.

This is the second time in a month that Congress has voted on a War Powers Act challenge to the Yemen War, with the House having had such a vote in mid-February. The House will still have to reconcile itself to another vote, however, because Senate leadership prevented debate on the House version and forced war opponents to start with a fresh challenge.

The White House has said President Donald Trump will veto the bill. As of now, it has far from the two-thirds majorities it would require in both houses to overcome the veto.


Police moonlight as art critics:


Dick's Sporting Goods is pulling guns from 125 more stores. "Late last year, the sporting goods retailer stopped selling guns, ammunition and hunting gear at 10 of its 700-plus stores," reports Marketplace. "Now, it's going to do the same at 125 more stores." That's not necessarily a political move. "Dick's hopes replacing that merchandise with experiential things, like baseball batting cages, will combat sluggish store sales," Marketplace says.


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It was the '70s! Drugs were still good, especially Quaaludes. If you did enough cocaine, you'd fuck a radiator and send it flowers in the morning.

• "Until now, the excessive-fines clause in the Constitution's Eighth Amendment had languished in obscurity, the Rodney Dangerfield of constitutional rights," Institute for Justice lawyers write in The Atlantic. But a recent Supreme Court decision related to civil asset forfeiture "has gone some distance to restoring its prominence." Here's where they suggest we go next.

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