DAILY CATHOLIC TUESDAY April 6, 1999 vol. 10, no. 67
NEWS & VIEWS
COURT REFUSES SERBIAN ORTHODOX BISHOPS' LAWSUIT
CHICAGO (CWNews.com) - A federal judge on Thursday threw out a lawsuit filed by US Serbian Orthodox bishops against President Bill Clinton to stop NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia.
The suit had sought an injunction against Clinton, claiming he had violated the US Constitution by breaking international treaties. Lawyers for the bishops said Judge Elaine Bucklo's decision to throw out the case so quickly actually benefits them because it allows them to appeal to a higher court right away. "We understand that the president is unlikely to respond to a court, except for the Supreme Court," said attorney Robert Pavich.
The lawsuit charged that Clinton had violated three treaties: the Charter of the United Nations, the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact of 1928, and the Hague Convention No. 4 of 1907. This was the first lawsuit of its kind, according to constitutional scholars.
The Rev. Milos Vesin, a spokesman for the Serbian Orthodox
Church of the United States, said that long after
Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic and Clinton are
out of power, it is the Serbian people and their church
that will continue to suffer the physical and spiritual
wounds. The plaintiffs had provided a list in their lawsuit
of 30 relics and icons in Serbia and Kosovo that are
endangered by the bombing campaign. "We have standing
because it's our property being affected; it's our religion
that is being diminished," said Anthony D'Amato, a
Northwestern University law professor who helped draft the
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NEWS & VIEWS