A story yesterday about a law suit filed by a Natioanl Guard sergeant challenging the president's consititutional authority to deploy troops in the Persian Gulf should have said the War Powers Resolution requires congressional notification, not authorization, within 48 hours after U.S. troops are sent into a situation where hostilities are imminent. (Published 11/15/90)

A federal judge yesterday denied a request for a temporary restraining order from a National Guard sergeant challenging the president's authority to send him to the Persian Gulf, but said he would hear further arguments early next month on the "serious questions" presented by the issue.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth came in what is believed to be the first lawsuit challenging President Bush's constitutional authority to send troops to the gulf without a formal declaration of war by Congress. It was filed by Sgt. Michael Ray Ange, 26, who is stationed at Fort Lee, Va., and whose unit is due to leave for the gulf this week.

In the only other known case of

a soldier resisting the current call- up, another reservist, Marine

Corps Reserves Cpl. Jeff Patterson, is awaiting a court martial in Hawaii for refusing an order to board an airplane bound for the gulf.

In the suit filed yesterday, Ange asserts that the president is exceeding his constitutional authority by sending soldiers to the gulf. He also challenges Bush's actions under the 1973 War Powers Resolution, a Vietnam-era law which requires presidents to get congressional authorization within 48 hours of dispatching troops where "imminent involvement in hostilities" is likely.

Today's hearing lasted less than an hour, and consisted mostly of arguments by attorneys for Ange. Michael Ratner, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York who represents Ange, told the judge that Ange's suit was not attempting to raise the issue of Bush's authority for all soldiers, just for Ange, but Lamberth was not convinced.

"If I give your one soldier a {temporary restraining order}, I'd have a few more in here tomorrow," Lamberth said. But Ratner said later that the judge's decision to hold a Dec. 10 hearing on the merits of the case bolstered his confidence that his client stood a chance of winning.

Ange's case is not the first time that soldiers have challenged the authority of the president to send them overseas to fight; similar cases arose in the 1960s during the Vietnam War, and more recently there have been challenges to U.S. military action in El Salvador under the War Powers Resolution. But courts have refused to involve themselves in what judges view

as an essentially political clash

between the executive and legis- lative branches. Justice Department lawyers yesterday reiterated that view.

Justice Department attorney John Tyler said Ange "is asking the government to go where no court has gone before."

Ange, who is a sergeant assigned to the Guard's 1450th Transporation Unit at Fort Lee, just outside of Richmond, said in a statement submitted with his complaint that filing suit was a step he took "with great difficulty." He said he supported the soldiers already serving in the Persian Gulf, but believes they are there under illegal orders from Bush.

"It is true that we are all volunteers," his statement said. "But when we volunteered we swore to defend our country and our Constitution. We did not swear or agree

to fight to bolster the power of

{the Kuwaiti government in exile}

or to fight to defend the economic interests of the major oil companies."

Another part of Ange's challenge asserts that the Army has violated its regulations by ignoring medical problems that make him unfit for combat duty. The suit states that Ange suffers from a chronic knee and foot problem as well as a chronic stomach ulcer.

Beth Stephens, another attorney representing Ange, said her client had been ordered confined to barracks and that he had been subject to harassment and "veiled threats" from his fellow reservists.