Judge Dismisses Suit to Stop Aid for Contras

Associated Press

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to halt U.S. military aid to the Nicaraguan rebels, it was announced Monday.

U.S. District Judge Charles Richey said that he had no jurisdiction over matters of foreign policy in dismissing the suit, which was filed by a group of Americans living in Nicaragua. The plaintiffs contend that their lives are being endangered by the U.S.-supported rebellion.

In a brief opinion, Richey said that "the court is painfully aware that plaintiffs claim to be in danger because of actions taken by the United States, and that, in the pantheon of human rights, few loom as large as the right of a citizen to be free from danger at the hands of his own government.

"But the Constitution itself prevents this court from addressing the merits" of the suit, which was joined by the World Federalist Assn. "The proper forum for airing these grievances is not this court, but the Congress and the voting booth," Richey said in his opinion, released Monday.

The plaintiffs cited a World Court ruling of June 27, 1986, that U.S. aid to the contra forces violated international law.

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