Soldiers, Their Parents and Lawmakers Sue to Stop U.S. Attack on Iraq Without Congressional Declaration of War
Interview with John Bonifaz, lead attorney in Doe v. Bush lawsuit conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Americans who are opposed to war in Iraq have been protesting in unprecedented numbers over the past several months across the nation in big cities and small towns. They have paid for ads in newspapers and on TV. Massive phone and email campaigns to congressional representatives have also been organized. Recently a group of active-duty soldiers, parents of men and women serving in the military and 12 members of Congress have filed a lawsuit to stop the war. The suit is known as "Doe v. Bush" to protect the identities of those currently on active-duty in various branches of the military. Plaintiffs in the case include members of Congress John Conyers of Michigan and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. The lawsuit maintains that only Congress can declare war and therefore President Bush cannot legally wage war in Iraq without such a declaration.
The suit was dismissed Feb. 24 by a judge in Boston who ruled that the judiciary has no power to intervene in matters of foreign policy except in cases where Congress and the president are strongly and clearly in conflict. The plaintiffs immediately appealed and were granted an expedited hearing before a three-judge panel on March 4. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with John Bonifaz, lead attorney in the suit. He explains the basis of the court action, the differences between this effort and similar suits filed during the Vietnam War, and places in context the congressional resolution of last October giving the president the power to use force against Iraq.
A ruling is not expected until after March 11. For more information, contact Military Families Speak Out at (617) 522-9323, or visit their website at www.mfso.org
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