Get Your Lawsuits Out

These BRAC actions are sure to be tied up in court for years. Three states—Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Tennessee—have filed lawsuits, asserting that no one can tamper with ANG units without the consent of the state governor. Last Friday, US Dist. Judge John R. Padova in Philadelphia agreed, ruling that US officials could not unilaterally change the status of ANG’s 111th FW at NAS Willow Grove, Pa. Warned Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell: “If someone [from the US government] showed up tomorrow … and said, ‘Give us the planes,’ as the Commander in Chief of the 111th, my answer would be, ‘No,’ and we’d hand them Judge Padova’s order.” Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois quickly noted that he would continue his legal action to prevent the loss of F-16s based at Springfield. Republican Gov. Matt Blunt of Missouri called “incomprehensible” the decision to move the St. Louis F-15s and asked the state attorney general to sue the Pentagon. In Massachusetts, state politicians threaten that they will do the same to stop the closure of Otis, on Cape Cod. More states could mount challenges.