From the steps of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Kucinich cited Congress' constitutional authority to declare war and Obama's failure to meet the requirements of the War Powers Act. He argued the lawsuit is aimed at protecting "our nation from policies where any president decides to declare war unilaterally" and dismissed arguments that the Libyan effort is a NATO action that does not need approval.
"Neither NATO nor the [United Nations] trumps the Unites States Constitution," the one-time presidential candidate said.
On Wednesday night, the White House sent Congress a report arguing that the U.S. had moved to a support role in Libya and that the absence of ground troops meant no Congressional approval was needed.
But reaction was swift and negative.
"Unfortunately, a progress report from the White House is no substitute for congressional authorization," Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) said in a statement.
The U.S. and NATO launched the campaign in response to concerns that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was attacking unarmed civilians and protesters. Administration officials have maintained the White House has briefed lawmakers on the situation and acted in accordance with the War Powers Act.
The War Powers Act requires the administration to request Congressional approval for major, ongoing military action within 60 days and remove troops from the theater in 90 days if approval is not granted. The first deadline passed in May; the second deadline is fast approaching.
"'I think that we have been acting consistent with the War Powers resolution. We will continue the mission," Carney told reporters Wednesday.
It remains unclear what legislative tact the House will take following the release of the administration's report, but in a statement, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said, "The Speaker has been clear: If the Administration fails to meet its obligations, then Congress will act."
Libya has not only cost Obama support on Capitol Hill, it is an unpopular issue among Americans, according to recent polling. Findings from a Rasmussen telephone survey released Monday show just 26 percent of likely voters think U.S. military efforts in Libya should continue, while 42 percent are opposed. Additionally, nearly six in 10 of those surveyed agree the president needs Congress' approval to continue military efforts.
In the Senate, Obama's lack of communication has led to a Libya policy defined by paralysis. The Foreign Relations Committee for the second consecutive week canceled a markup of a resolution of approval being authored by panel Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Armed Services ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Majority Leader Harry Reid, when asked whether the Senate should weigh in on Libya, said he was still "waiting" for the Foreign Relations Committee to act.
McCain suggested the matter was in Reid's hands, although he conceded he and Kerry were still tweaking their resolution in an effort to gather support.
Unlike the House, the Senate has not addressed the issue on the floor, and some maintain it's a lost cause to weigh in now.
"I think it's too late already. We should have [acted] a long time ago. We're irrelevant, and it's become a moot point," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.