Connecticut Sues to Stop Base Closing Recommendations

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A federal judge temporarily halted the national base closings commission from recommending a realignment of a Connecticut Air National Guard base (search), which the governor contends cannot be done without her approval.

U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello issued a temporary restraining order and scheduled a hearing Sept. 7 on the Base Closure and Realignment Commission's (search) recommendation to remove planes from Bradley International Airport.

The commission approved the plan last week and has until Sept. 8 to forward its recommendations to the court has a full opportunity to consider our arguments before Connecticut may be threatened with the very substantial irreparable harm of this realignment."

Calls were left seeking comment with the BRAC commission and Gov. M. Jodi Rell (search).

The governor and three congressmen sued the base closings commission and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday, saying that as the Connecticut Guard's commander in chief, Rell must consent to any realignment of the case.

The Pentagon plans to move nine of the 17 A-10 Thunderbolts from the 103rd Fighter Wing located at Bradley and retire the rest. The realignment is part of the Pentagon's proposal to shut or consolidate 62 major U.S. military bases and hundreds of smaller facilities.

Last week, a federal judge ruled in favor of Pennsylvania's governor, who argued the Defense Department needs his approval to dissolve an Air National Guard division there.

Rell is the lead plaintiff in the Connecticut case. She is joined by Democratic U.S. Sens. Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman, and U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.