Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


This Article reviews the 1962 Soviet-American-Cuban Missile Agreement in the perspective of American Constitutional law, particularly in light of presidential authority. It notes the high degree of respect afforded to presidential diplomatic and military moves in times of crisis by the Supreme Court. It recounts the broad extent of presidential foreign policy making authority and it observes difficulties confronting parties hoping to challenge the exercise of such authority in court. Such challenges to be surmounted by prospective plaintiffs would be the standing problem and the political question problem, respectively. The discussion also apprehends that the 1962 undertaking has been determined to be less a legal covenant than a mere joint politico-diplomatic understanding. Problems arising therefrom consequently can be remedied through the domestic political machinery. One such remedial effort attempted even prior to 1962 is examined: that is the cautionary precedent of Yalta.