Federal Judge Dismisses War Powers Challenge By Members of Congress

Soon after the news that Gadhafi had been shot, Judge Reggie Walton issued an opinion dismiss the lawsuit by members of Congress challenging the war powers claim underlying the intervention in the Libyan war without a declaration of Congress. I represent the members in that litigation. The Court declined to rule on the merits of the constitutional claims and instead held that the court does not have jurisdiction to rule on such questions. Despite the timing, the opinion did not turn on the removal of Gadhafi. The opinion is below.

This is a disappointing but not unexpected decision. I respect Judge Walton and believe that this is a thoughtful opinion. However, I have to respectfully disagree with his analysis. We stated at the outset that we viewed this as a case that would have to be heard by the D.C. Circuit since there is contrary precedent from higher courts. We even stated that in the complaint (which the court acknowledges). While we believed that there was a basis for the district court to distinguish this case, Judge Walton declined to take that approach.

Notably, the court did not rule on the constitutional questions. Instead, the decision holds that a critical part of the Constitution cannot be effectively enforced in the courts. It is a position that runs contrary to the views of the Framers and certainly these members.

I must strongly disagree with the Court’s statement in a footnote that, because the D.C. Circuit previously ruled against members in an earlier challenge, no further challenges should be made by members who disagree. If that were the standard, many of our most famous cases in history, like Brown v. Board of Education, would never have happened. Changes in precedent are often secured only after years, if not decades, of challenges. These members strongly disagree with the D.C. Circuit case law and the only way to ask the Circuit to reconsider those holdings is to first receive a decision from the district court.

I have started to conferral with the members today despite being out of town in Oklahoma City. We previously stated that this issue might have to be resolved by the D.C. Circuit or ultimately the Supreme Court. We are now discussing whether to take that next step.

Jonathan Turley
Lead Counsel in Kucinich v. Obama

Opinion: Memorandum Opinion 10.20.2011 doc. 14

58 thoughts on “Federal Judge Dismisses War Powers Challenge By Members of Congress”

  1. LK;

    Let me add this to your post by Rolling Stone:

    “Dear Occupy Wall Street Protesters,
    I haven’t felt so thrilled since I learned to ride a bicycle. You are the only authentic—what to call you?—response to what is really happening in this country to have come along in many years. You embody my dream combination of human qualities: honesty, anger and playfulness. Of course I am therefore waiting in dread for the other shoe to drop. One after the other, the most subversive developments in American life get comfortably absorbed by mainstream society (remember when “free love” struck fear into the hearts of the middle class?). You will find that the embrace of sudden new friends is the kiss of death. The cameras will nudge your simplicity into crudity. You will become harnessed not just to the hidden political agendas of other people, but to their professional ambitions. Think “Meet John Doe.” Think (to take an extreme example). “Taxi Driver.”


  2. Great link, lottakatz.

    That’s first I’d heard of Obama’s willingness to gut Sarbanes-Oxley for his corporate puppet masters.

    As revolting as that is, at this point I am hardly surprised.

  3. “Notably, the court did not rule on the constitutional questions. Instead, the decision holds that a critical part of the Constitution cannot be effectively enforced in the courts. It is a position that runs contrary to the views of the Framers and certainly these members.”

    So, if Congress as a body (primarily the House) is too corrupt to protect the peoples power and the court says it’s not the courts business, that leaves what exactly as a vehicle for redress? Burning torches and pitchforks?

    1. I am surprised you don’t know the answer to your question. It is called elections. Just because you lose or don’t like the outcome hardly makes it either illegal or unconstitutional.

  4. The Zionist Warmongers = US Government will not allow a truthful investigation of 9/11.


    Architects & Engineers – Solving the Mystery of WTC 7 – AE911Truth.org

    NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology LIED in final government report! WTC 7 did NOT come down from office furnishings fires.

    “The following documentary includes several of the dozens of technical and building experts that were interviewed and that appear in our forthcoming full length documentary – 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out. Altogether of course there are more than 1,500 Architects & Engineers that have signed the AE911Truth petition calling for a new investigation of the destruction of all 3 high-rises at the World Trade Center on 9/11.”

  5. pete:


    you’re never alone when you’re schizophrenic.”

    I thought you guys were into nuance?

  6. Look what happened to Nazi Berlin.

    If Americans don’t get all the Zionist Nazis out of the U.S. Government – Washington, DC could have the same fate as Nazi Berlin.

    Helen Thomas: “Zionist are the new NAZI’S. Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists.” The media is also owned by the Zionist Warmongers.

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