A group of bipartisan lawmakers filed a federal lawsuit against President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, requesting a court to bar the administration from using U.S. funds for military action in Libya.
The lead plaintiffs, Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio, and Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina filed the lawsuit at U.S. District Court in Washington Wednesday afternoon, as the White House prepared to deliver an address to Congress.
Along with Kucinich and Jones, the plaintiffs are Democratic Representatives, Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and John Conyers of Michigan; and Republicans Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Dan Burton of Indiana, Howard Coble of North Carolina, John Duncan of Tennessee, Tim Johnson of Illinois, and Ron Paul of Texas.
Jones told National Journal:
“For too long, the Constitution has been put on the back shelf for so long when it comes to the issue of warâ€¦Iâ€™m sure the drafters of the Constitution would be with us. For too long the Congress has stood in the stands and not been on the field when it comes to the issue of the war.”
In the 36-page lawsuit, the lawmakers claim the president violated the law by going to war in Libya sans any declaration of war from Congress as required by the War Powers Resolution. They also contend the administration is violating the North Atlantic Treaty, which â€œallows only for military actions in defense of a member stateâ€ and requires that any U.S. involvement in a NATO action occur only in â€œaccordance with [the] respective constitutional processesâ€ of the United States.