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Abstract

The Framers did not intend the Constitution to be an all-inclusive "bill of lading," for we cannot forget John Marshall's famous admonition "that it is a constitution we are expounding."' Nonetheless, there are many large gaps and conflicts in the allocation of power among the three branches, most in the area of foreign relations, that have caused serious problems for our nation's leaders and constitutional scholars over the past two centuries. How have our presidents reacted? Certainly the President can and has acted on his own in negotiating, enacting, and implementing foreign policy, despite the lack of any express executive authority to do so. But were his actions always constitutional? This article examines the express and implied grants of power to conduct foreign affairs, the gaps left noticeably behind, and the concurrent powers of the President and Congress in this area. Further, this article explores alternatives applied by our nation's leaders and suggestions for the future as the next President addresses foreign policy issues in the close-knit international community of the twenty-first century.