David F. Forte


In 1981, the Supreme Court decided Dames & Moore v. Regan. According to the modest view of the majority opinion, the Dames & Moore case is not even a brick, with or without straw. As Justice Rehnquist stated for the Court: "We attempt to lay down no general 'guide-lines'...and attempt to confine the opinion only to the very questions necessary to the decision of the case." A second look, however, reveals that in Dames & Moore, the Supreme Court did more than resolve some of the sticky legalities that were part of a serious foreign policy crisis. It also moved the country one step forward towards a strengthened constitutional structuring of the foreign affairs power.