House Members Sue Obama Over Libya

Posted June 15, 2011 at 11:03am

A group of House lawmakers led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich filed a lawsuit against President Barack Obama Wednesday, asserting that the administration does not have Congress’ approval to continue engaging in the Libyan conflict.

Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat who is a staunch anti-war advocate, asserted that Obama violated the Constitution when he committed military resources to assist the NATO-led efforts in Libya. In a federal lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Kucinich and a bipartisan group of nine lawmakers assert that Obama is in violation of the Constitution and the War Powers Act for failing to get Congress’ approval within 60 days of committing military and financial resources in 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,” Kucinich said in a statement.

The United States is participating in a NATO-led campaign that began March 18, in response to international concerns that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was attacking unarmed civilians and protesters.

Kucinich has been an outspoken critic on the issue, pushing a resolution on the House floor for an immediate pullout of troops there. The measure was defeated earlier this month, but a separate resolution by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) questioning the administration’s involvement in the Libyan civil war and demanding detailed explanations of the administration’s justification for becoming engaged in the conflict passed with bipartisan support. Boehner also penned a letter to Obama on Tuesday warning that Friday marks the deadline under the War Powers Act for the president to provide Congress with a legal explanation for continued military action in Libya. Saturday will mark 90 days since the U.S. entered the conflict.

In addition to Kucinich, the lawsuit is signed by Reps. Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Mike Capuano (D-Mass.), Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.).