Professor sues Obama administration over Libya involvement

GW law professor Jonathan Turley, center, filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court Wednesday alongside (from left to right) law students Geoff Turley, Jodie Cheng, Ashley Klearman and Eric Sidler, who are researching for the case. Cory Weinberg | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Professor Jonathan Turley filed a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s involvement in Libya on behalf of 10 members of Congress Wednesday.

The lawsuits alleges President Barack Obama violated the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 by neglecting to seek congressional approval for the government’s involvement in the Libyan war mission.

Turley, who will litigate the case,  was joined by outspoken war opponent Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, to announce the lawsuit at the U.S. District Court.

“This is a serious constitutional issue that has an immediate impact on the events right now,” Kucinich said. “We’re here in front of a courthouse to show that members of Congress are solidly behind [the lawsuit].”

Turley said Kucinich and Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., approached him two months ago about taking legal action to rebuke the war mission.

“We have some of the most senior members from across the political spectrum who are united in the belief that the Constitution is being abrogated,” Turley said. “We’re not just challenging Libya. We’re challenging the underlying policies.”

U.S. troops and NATO began a military campaign in Libya 88 days ago  against the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. The operation has reignited the constitutional debate regarding the president’s war powers.

The president will submit a report today to Congress after the House of Representatives passed a resolution on June 3 criticizing the president for not seeking congressional authorization in Libya.

Obama contends that he is in compliance with the 1973 War Powers Act since NATO leads the bulk of the operation.



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