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John C. Bonifaz Bio
John C. Bonifaz is a Boston-based attorney specializing in constitutional law.
In February and March 2003, Mr. Bonifaz served as plaintiffs’ lead counsel in John Doe I v. President Bush, a constitutional challenge to President Bush’s authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action. Mr. Bonifaz represented a coalition of US soldiers, parents of US soldiers, and Members of Congress arguing that the president’s planned first-strike invasion of Iraq violated the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution.
Mr. Bonifaz is the author of: Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George Bush (NationBooks-NY, foreword by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., January 2004), on the illegality of the Iraq war. The book presents an accounting of the John Doe I v. President Bush case and its meaning for the United States Constitution.
Mr. Bonifaz is a co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, a national coalition of veterans’ groups, peace groups, and public interest organizations seeking a formal congressional investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war.
Mr. Bonifaz is also the founder of the National Voting Rights Institute (NVRI) and currently serves as its general counsel. Founded in 1994, NVRI serves as a prominent legal and public education center dedicated to protecting the right of all citizens to vote and to participate in the electoral process on an equal and meaningful basis.
Mr. Bonifaz is a 1999 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In awarding the five-year fellowship, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation stated:
Bonifaz, a public interest lawyer, uses innovative litigation to reexamine campaign finance reform arguments typically debated on first amendment grounds. Through the National Voting Rights Institute, an organization he founded, Bonifaz recasts the legal arguments to focus on fourteenth amendment protections, challenging the relationship between money and politics.
Mr. Bonifaz also maintains a private practice with his father, Cristobal Bonifaz, which specializes in international human rights and environmental law cases.
Mr. Bonifaz is a 1992 c. laude graduate of Harvard Law School.