#1 Army captain sues Obama over lack of ISIS war authorization by Cincinnatus 04.05.2016 22:41


Bush-era war authorizations do not give President Obama authority to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Army officer argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against Obama.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. district court by an intelligence officer stationed in Kuwait who says he supports the fight against ISIS, but believes it is being carried out illegally because Congress hasn't authorized it.

"How could I honor my oath when I am fighting a war, even a good war, that the Constitution does not allow, or Congress has not approved?" Capt. Nathan Michael Smith wrote. "To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria."

President Obama has sought an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) from Congress. But Congress has been hesitant to take it up, with Republicans worried it would be too restrictive and some Democrats worried it wouldn't be restrictive enough.


The lawsuit hinges on the War Powers Resolution, a Vietnam War-era law that says the president must get a war declaration or AUMF from Congress within 60 days of deploying troops or else withdraw within another 30 days.

"The President did not get Congress's approval for his war against ISIS in Iraq or Syria within the sixty days, but he also did not terminate the war," the suit says. "The war is therefore illegal."

The suit also says the 2001 AUMF does not apply because it authorized war against those who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which ISIS did not


Legally I suspect he's right but I doubt this will go anywhere. Congress likes the situation as is since they don't have to take a firm stand on anything, and the courts are too politicized to act.

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