Professor Ackerman Pens Op-ed After Lawsuit Alleges ISIS War Is Unconstitutional

Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science Bruce Ackerman ’67 has published an op-ed in the New York Times offering support for a newly filed lawsuit that argues President Barack Obama’s war against ISIS is illegal because Congress has not authorized it.

The lawsuit, Smith v. Obama, was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Attorney David Remes on behalf of Captain Nathan Michael Smith. Smith is a U.S. Army Captain deployed to the Kuwait headquarters of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, which commands all forces in support of the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Professor Ackerman is collaborating with Remes on the constitutional arguments in the case.

The lawsuit argues that the President and his administration are violating the Constitution by conducting military operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria without obtaining Congressional authorization per the 1973 War Powers Resolution. In the lawsuit, Smith voices strong support for military action against ISIS, but cites his conscience and his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Captain Smith is requesting that the court declare whether the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq violates the War Powers Resolution.

Read the complaint

Read Professor Ackerman’s New York Times op-ed

Read the NYTimes article on the lawsuit