Epic Fail

Boehner: We’re Suing the Welfare President Because We Agree With Him


Speaker of the House John Boehner laid out the case for suing the president today in an op-ed column for USA Today, and if you can make past the egregious lies contained in the opening paragraphs, you’ll find that Boehner openly admits that he and his colleagues agree with the president’s actions.

Given the groundbreaking nature of this legal action, we want to assert our clearest constitutional position. The fact we agree with a change that should have been made in law makes this case clearer to the court.

I oppose the employer mandate in the president’s health care law. The House of Representatives has voted to delay or eliminate it (and we will do so again if we prevail in court). But it is the letter of the law that was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. He simply cannot unilaterally rewrite it.

This couldn’t possibly be any more surreal or preposterous.

I’m not a constitutional lawyer so perhaps someone who is more versed in these matters can tell me if Boehner’s lawsuit can be thrown out of court based on a lack of injury.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson’s (R) lawsuit aimed at preventing congressional staffers from receiving Obamacare subsidies was recently thrown out of court because neither he or his staff were “injured” by the law.

In this case, John Boehner is openly admitting that he and his colleagues agree with the president’s actions.

Where’s the injury?

Not to let it go unmentioned — Boehner pulled a dog-whistle out of right field in the opening paragraphs of his op-ep and implied that President Obama is a welfare president.

I believe the president’s actions in a number of areas — including job-destroying energy regulations, releasing the “Taliban 5″ from Guantanamo without notice and waiving the work requirements in welfare — exceed his constitutional authority.

In addition to being a dog-whistle, this is misleading at best and a lie at worst.

The president did not waive work requirements. States can waive requirements as they see fit based on their own experiences and observations.

You know, states’ right. Remember states’ rights?

It has been at least a year (if not two) since the last time congressional Republicans crowed about work requirements so I see this as an intentional dog-whistle dredged up just to attack the president’s character and motivations.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Didn’t Ron Johnson claim that he was “injured” because if he took the federal subsidy, it would hurt his re-election chances? I think that’s going to be the same strategy Boehner is going to try: Claim that he is being injured because Obama’s insistence on being flexible is depriving them of key wedge issues they can use to get re-elected.

    • ninjaf

      Couldn’t the defense be to simply show fundraising efforts (and what was actually raised) based off of this action? Showing that $XX millions raised could actually provide proof that there was no injury and, instead, provided a gain.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    There are several reasons why this lawsuit will (or at least should) be thrown out of court before it ever gets past the pleading stage.

    One is the lack of injury-in-fact, hence the lack of standing. Congress as an entity cannot demonstrate that it, itself, has suffered a legal injury or economic loss as a result of the executive action in question. Neither can it satisfy the requirements of equitable relief, absent a showing of irreparable harm, which it can’t show because inter alia it can either legislate or impeach in order to get the result it wants if the court refuses to grant the injunction.

    Another is the “political question” doctrine, by which federal courts will not take subject-matter jurisdiction over a dispute that is properly left to the other (elected/political) branches. The doctrine is rarely invoked but what it basically means is that the courts won’t settle policy disputes between the executive and the legislature, or among members of the legislature.

    What I’m also waiting for someone to point out is where in the statute (i.e., the U.S. Code) is the date for implementation of the employer mandate specified. I’m not saying it’s not in there, I just don’t know where it is. When I read the statute I lost count of how many times the phrase “The Secretary shall…” or “The Department of Health and Human Services shall…” (or some variation thereof) appears, giving broad authority to the Executive Branch Department of HHS to implement and administer the law as it sees fit.

    It really is remarkable how a political party that spends so much time whining and complaining about “regulation” can be so ignorant of what regulation actually is. Let alone the difference between law and regulation; between legislation and administration. I realize in this case they’re being willfully and deliberately ignorant, in order to make their audience think they have something and are acting appropriately. One only wonders if a federal judge, irrespective of partisanship, will be so easily fooled.

    • Brutlyhonest

      Admirable, serious answer. But nothing matters when you’re dealing with un-serious children and their sycophants.

    • Christopher Foxx

      realize in this case they’re being willfully and deliberately ignorant,

      “in this case”? You make it sound like that isn’t true in all cases.