Lawmakers sue Obama over Libya
By: Reid J. Epstein
June 15, 2011 12:06 PM EDT
A bipartisan group of House members announced on Wednesday that it is filing a lawsuit charging that President Obama made an illegal end-run around Congress when he approved U.S military action against Libya.
“With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated. We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who led the 10-member anti-war coalition with Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.).
The White House is expected on Wednesday to deliver to Congress a much-anticipated report detailing military activity in Libya.
According to Kucinich, the suit will challenge the Obama administration’s “circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize the use of military force abroad.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said at his daily press briefing that he is aware of the lawsuit and said the forthcoming report to Congress would resolve questions in it.
“We feel very confident that we will be able to answer the questions that Congress has,” he said.
A senior Obama administration official, speaking on background, dismissed the Kucinich lawsuit, but declined to address it directly.
“I don’t think we should comment specifically about lawsuit,” the official said.
But former Rep. David Skaggs (D-Colo.), the co-chairman of the Constitution Project’s War Powers Committee, called the Kucinich suit “right on the merits” but certain to be dismissed on procedural grounds because courts have determined members of Congress do not have standing to file such suits.
The suit comes a day after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent Obama a letter claiming that military action in Libya will violate the 1973 War Powers Resolution if it does not end by Friday, 90 days after it began.
The Kucinich-Jones group also includes Democrats John Conyers of Michigan and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and Republicans Howard Coble of North Carolina, John Duncan of Tennessee, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Ron Paul of Texas, Tim Johnson of Illinois and Dan Burton of Indiana.