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Schlesinger v. Holtzman - Significance, A Unique Series Of Events, The Court Defers Action Again, Impact

decision congress william air


James Schlesinger, Secretary of Defense


Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) and several Air Force officers

Petitioner's Claim

That without decisive opposition by Congress the president has constitutional authority to conduct air combat over Cambodia.

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger (writing for the Court), Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

William O. Douglas


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

4 August 1973


Upheld the U.S. claim and affirmed a court of appeals decision by reversing Justice Douglas's decision to temporarily halt U.S. bombing in Cambodia.

Related Cases

  • United States v. Curtiss-Wright Corp., 299 U.S. 304 (1936).
  • Rosenburg v. United States, 346 U.S. 273 (1953).
  • Holtzman v. Schlesinger, 414 U.S. 1304 (1973).
  • Goldwater v. Carter, 444 U.S. 996 (1979).
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1997.
  • Lindsay, James M. Congress and the Politics of U.S. Foreign Policy. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
  • Peterson, Paul E., ed. The President, The Congress, and the Making of Foreign Policy. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.
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