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

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Thu Feb 13 19:23:38 MST 2003


NEWS ADVISORY

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 
Power
[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 
would result."

"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.

-30-


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