Bartlett joins lawsuit against Obama over Libya
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers Wednesday in filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama over U.S. involvement in Libya, alleging that the White House overstepped its constitutional authority when it launched the military effort in March.
The 36-page complaint, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, argues that Obama’s decision to initiate strikes against the government of Moammar Gadhafi violated the constitution and the War Powers Resolution. Bartlett, a Western Maryland Republican, has consistently been among the most vocal critics of the way the action was initiated.
“This is not the king’s army,” Bartlett said in an interview Wednesday. “This is a terribly dangerous precedent…Clearly what he did was a violation of the constitution.”
The other House members included in the lawsuit are Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, Walter Jones, R-N.C., John Conyers, D-Mich., Michael Capuano, D-Mass., Dan Burton, R-Ind., Howard Coble, R-N.C., John Duncan, R-Tenn., Timothy Johnson, R-Ill., and Ron Paul, R-Texas.
The lawsuit comes amid growing concern by members of both parties in Congress over how the military action was started. On June 2, the House passed a resolution requiring the White House to inform Congress on the scope and cost of the Libyan mission, which is currently being led by NATO. That measure passed on a 268-145 vote, with both Maryland Republicans, Bartlett and Baltimore County Rep. Andy Harris, in support.
The White House has maintained for several weeks that it is making every effort to keep Congress informed about the Libyan effort.
Bartlett was part of a similar lawsuit against then President Bill Clinton over U.S. involvement in Kosovo. The effort was not successful.