Paul, bipartisan team, sue Clinton over Kosovo PDF Print E-mail
FOR RELEASE: May 1, 1999

Lawsuit filed Friday, April 30, 1999 Paul, bipartisan team, sue Clinton over Kosovo Members say President has violated Constitution, War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTON, DC -- A bipartisan group of 17 Members of Congress, including US Rep. Ron Paul (R-Surfside, Texas), filed a lawsuit on Friday, April 30, 1999, in federal court against President Bill Clinton for violating both the US Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Resolution with regard to Yugoslavia.
Rep. Paul has led Congress in the opposing the unconstitutional military action, introducing the first legislation to stop the measure early in this Congress, and speaking against it last year.
"This president has violated the law and he must be taken to task," said Rep. Paul. "It is a shame that Congress has not done more to stop the president from this destructive course. So it is therefore incumbent upon us to resort to the courts to force Mr. Clinton to follow his Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States."
The lawsuit specifically states that the president violated Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11, of the US Constitution by engaging in war without the declaration of such from Congress. The suit also notes that the president violated the 1973 War Powers Resolution for failing to officially report to Congress on his aggressive actions against Yugoslavia within the mandated forty-eight hours.
The suit seeks a declaratory judgment from the court, stating that the president has violated both the US Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. The plaintiffs ask the court to order the president to end hostilities by May 25, 1999, and withdrawn troops no later than June 24, 1999.
"For more than 50 years, presidents have engaged in foreign adventurism at the cost of American lives without regard for the Constitution. But for the first time we have a president who not only refuses to acknowledge the Constitution, but also the War Powers Resolution which -- in my opinion -- improperly transferred constitutionally non-delegable powers from the legislative to executive branch," said Rep. Paul. "Apparently this president thinks he is king, for in our representative democracy no man is given the power to unilaterally commit troops to battle without the express authorization of the people's representatives in Congress."
Joining Rep. Paul in the lawsuit are: Tom Campbell (R, CA), Dennis Kucinich (D, OH), Marcy Kaptur (D, OH), Roscoe Bartlett (R, MD), Bob Barr (R, GA), Dan Burton (R, IN), Philip Crane (R, IL), John Cooksey (R, LA), Walter Jones (R, NC), Donald Manzullo (R, IL), Charlie Norwood (R, GA), Thomas Petri (R, WI), Marshall Sanford (R, SC), Joe Scarborough (R, FL), Bob Schaffer (R, CO), and Thomas Tancredo (R, CO). The Members have legal standing in the suit because the president's actions usurped Congress' constitutional and legal rights to declare war and provide oversight.
"This president is putting American soldiers, and indeed all Americans, in danger by engaging in this reckless action," said Rep. Paul. "We must not allow this or any president to declare themselves above the law."
Congress voted this week 427 to 2 against a declaration of war with Yugoslavia, voted to prohibit funding for ground elements, and finally, denied support for the ongoing air campaign.