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February 27, 2012

Libya war powers challenge fails

A #war powers challenge to the #Obama team's #Libya military campaign has failed; because, a judge says, the campaign is over.

In the latest in a long series of failed War Powers Resolution challenges, U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts on Monday dismissed as moot a case that claimed the Libyan campaign was illegal. The plaintiff, San Diego resident Mark Whitney, had sought to stop the U.S. participation in the air assault on Libyan forces; an assault called "Operation Unified Protector" by the United Nations.

Judge Roberts, though, accepted the administration's argument that:

"following the death of [Libyan leader] Muammar Qaddafi and the defeat of Qaddafi-regime forces on October 23, the [U.S.] ceased air operations in support of Operation Unified Protector on October 31. The U.S. military personnel remaining in Libya are there to support the diplomatic mission."

Much the same thing happened when congressional Democrats challenged the Reagan administration's October 1983 invasion of Grenada. The judge noted that Reagan had withdrawn all combat troops by that Dec. 15, while leaving behind some "300 United States military personnel...to maintain order and assist in training the Grenadian police force." The "mere presence" of military personnel, under peaceful circumstances, is not enough to keep a war powers case alive, the judge reasoned.

The lawsuit was filed Aug. 4, 2011.


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Much the same thing happened when congressional Democrats challenged the Reagan administration's October 1983 invasion of Grenada.

Read more here: http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/law/2012/02/libya-war-powers-challenge-fails.html#comments#storylink=cpy

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"Suits & Sentences" is a legal affairs blog written by Michael Doyle, a reporter for McClatchy's Washington Bureau. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Yale Law School, where he earned a Master of Studies in Law; he also earned a Masters in Government from The Johns Hopkins University with a thesis on the Freedom of Information Act. He teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs.

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