Thursday, June 16, 2011

Congress members sue over Obama's illegal war in Libya

Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio),Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), John Conyers (D-Mich.) Ron Paul (R-Texas), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.) filed a 36-page complaint Wednesday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for taking military action in Libya without first seeking congressional approval.
The complaint documents violations of the Constitution: “The text of Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution expressly requires the President to secure a declaration of war from Congress prior to committing U.S. Military forces. The express language of Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 is reinforced by the clear intent of the Framers, who spoke often of the need to avoid unilateral commencement of wars by the Chief Executive.”
Obama’s war in Libya is precisely what the Framers opposed—and thought they had barred—in requiring an open, public declaration for wars. The Obama Administration has read the mandatory consent of Congress out of the Constitution and replaced it with a purely discretionary power of the President to commence war with or without congressional approval. As members of Congress, the Plaintiffs assert the right to challenge a per se violation of Article I of the Constitution as well as the violation of statutory laws governing the commencement and funding of any undeclared war.”

Request to the Court:

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiffs pray that this Court:
a. Enter an order declaring that the operations in Libya constitute a war for purposes of Article I and, as such, are unconstitutional absent a declaration of war from Congress pursuant to Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution;
b. Enter an order declaring unconstitutional the policy that the President may unilaterally extend the North Atlantic Treaty to cover combat operations against a country that had not attacked a NATO country;
c. Enter an order declaring unconstitutional the policy that the President may unilaterally extend the North Atlantic Treaty to cover combat operations against a country without satisfying the constitutional process of the United States, including the necessity of seeking authority from Congress;
d. Enter an order declaring unconstitutional the policy of the Administration that a U.N. resolution can negate the obligation of the President to seek approval of a war or military operations in countries like Libya;
e. Enter an order declaring unconstitutional the policy of the Administration that the President may use previously appropriated monies to support an undeclared war in circumvention of Article I;
f. Order all injunctive relief to end the violations alleged above, including but not limited to an order to suspend military operations in Libya absent a declaration of war from Congress....”

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