COALITION OF US SOLDIERS, PARENTS OF US SOLDIERS, AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT IN BOSTON CHALLENGING BUSH'S AUTHORITY TO WAGE WAR
mikedf at amnh.org
Thu Feb 13 19:23:38 MST 2003
CONTACT: John Bonifaz, (617) 524-2675 or (617) 529-4611 (cell)
Steven Lewis, (617) 470-1469
Charles Richardson and Nancy Lessin, (617) 522-9323,
(617) 320-5301 (cell), (508) 277-9466 (cell)
DATE: February 12, 2003
FOR RELEASE: Immediate
COALITION OF US SOLDIERS, PARENTS OF US SOLDIERS, AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
TO FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT IN BOSTON CHALLENGING BUSH'S AUTHORITY TO WAGE WAR
LAWSUIT SEEKS TO PREVENT PRESIDENT FROM LAUNCHING MILITARY INVASION OF IRAQ
ABSENT A CONGRESSIONAL DECLARATION OF WAR
PLAINTIFFS SAY INVASION WILL VIOLATE US CONSTITUTION
'THE PRESIDENT IS NOT A KING'
[NOTE TO PRESS: Plaintiffs and their attorneys will hold a press conference
at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, February 13, 2003, at the Old South Meeting House,
310 Washington Street in Boston, to announce the filing of this lawsuit.]
BOSTON -- A coalition of U.S. soldiers, parents of U.S. soldiers, and
Members of Congress will file a lawsuit in federal court in Boston tomorrow
challenging President George W. Bush's authority to wage war against
Iraq. The lawsuit will seek to prevent the President from launching a
military invasion of Iraq, absent a congressional declaration of war. U.S.
Representatives John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich will lead the Members of
Congress who are serving as plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs say an invasion will violate Article I, Section 8 of the
United States Constitution which states that "Congress shall have
[t]o declare War." They argue that the resolution on Iraq that
Congress passed last October did not declare war and unlawfully ceded to
the President the decision of whether or not to send this nation into
war. Their court papers will cite historical records showing that the
framers of the Constitution sought to ensure that U.S. presidents would not
have the power of European monarchs of the past to wage war.
"The President is not a king," says Charles Richardson, a plaintiff in the
case whose son is a U.S. Marine now stationed in the Persian Gulf. "If he
wants to launch a military invasion against Iraq, he must first seek a
declaration of war from the United States Congress. Our Constitution
demands nothing less." Richardson, along with Nancy Lessin and Jeffrey
McKenzie who are also plaintiffs in this case, is a co-founder of Military
Families Speak Out, an organization of people who are opposed to war
against Iraq and who have family members in the military. Lessin adds: "A
full and complete Congressional discussion of the issues and all options
must precede any move towards war, because of the irreparable harm that
"A war against Iraq without a congressional declaration of war will be
illegal and unconstitutional," says John Bonifaz, the plaintiffs' lead
attorney. "It is time for the courts to intervene."
The plaintiffs plan to file a motion for a preliminary injunction along
with their complaint. The motion will seek an immediate hearing on their
request that the President be barred from launching a military invasion
against Iraq without a congressional declaration of war.
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