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View Diary: Boehner reveals focus of GOP's pre-impeachment lawsuit (189 comments)

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  •  They may be correct on the legal issues (3+ / 0-)
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    Bensdad, OuijaForestCat, VClib

    The President cannot Constitutionally do anything at all he does not have statutory authority to do, and the dates were carved in stone (as I understand it) in the law itself. This problem was known to be an issue when Obama first did it. The law says X, the President does X to the jot and tittle. Anything else is bullshit that we fought a war to prevent, regardless of whether the President's overreach helps or hurts your causes in particular.

    Now that doesn't say this lawsuit isn't a stupid stunt, because it is, or that the proper remedy for this problem is the courtroom. Assuming the President's action does not pass Constitutional muster (and I am not asserting that here; have to look further into it), Congress's only option might be impeachment (fat chance and they'd look like lunatics).

    Also, from a political / vote getting point of view, the GOP's motivations and the fact that they are a bunch of assholes out to sandbag Obama's presidency might matter. But as to the legal issues it is irrelevant. It is logically possible that the Republican House can be a bunch of assholes and that the President overstepped his Constitutional authority.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 03:55:59 PM PDT

    •  I agree.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, VClib

      .....this was not a mere regulatory change. It was the delayed implementation of an act of Congress. He probably could not do this, even though Republicans in Congress kept their counsel when he did.....until now.

      Also, lawsuits of this import can be expedited. The want a ruling just before the elections and might get it.

      If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

      by Bensdad on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 04:11:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dunno... (7+ / 0-)
      Contrary to the claims made by the administration's opponents, delays in the implementation of complex regulatory schemes like the ACA beyond statutory deadlines are not uncommon. When the Department of the Treasury announced its revised schedule for phasing in the employer mandate, it explained that such temporary delays of tax reporting and payment requirements are routine, citing numerous examples of such postponements by both Republican and Democratic administrations when statutory deadlines proved unworkable.2 Indeed, as the George W. Bush administration implemented the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, which created the Medicare prescription-drug program, it waived enforcement of the unpopular late-enrollment penalty for 1 year for some beneficiaries, delayed a key element of the law's method for calculating the share of premiums paid by some beneficiaries in order to reduce their current premiums, and limited enforcement of the law's requirement that insurers provide medication therapy management programs in order to ease the burden on insurers.3 A study of implementation of Medicare mandates in the late 1990s, after the enactment of the massive 1997 Balanced Budget Act, showed that almost half the rules on the regulatory agenda of the Health Care Financing Administration for spring 1998 that had statutory deadlines had not been implemented on time.4
      Critics of the Bush administration's persistent inaction on environmental and other regulatory matters frequently alleged that the administration failed to enforce such laws as a matter of politics or policy. Earlier administrations have similarly been accused of de facto nonenforcement of laws with which they disagreed. The Obama administration is not refusing to enforce the law. Rather, it is making simple timing adjustments that are well within the executive branch's lawful discretion.
      The federal Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. § 706) authorizes federal courts to rectify statutorily required actions that have been “unreasonably delayed.” The leading case interpreting the unreasonable-delay prohibition imposes a test that considers a number of factors, of which statutory deadlines are only one, not necessarily determinative, consideration.5 The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist ruled in a leading Supreme Court case, Heckler v. Chaney (1985), that even an agency's complete refusal to enforce a law cannot be challenged unless the refusal reflects “general polic[ies] so extreme as to amount to an abdication of its statutory responsibilities.” These legal boundaries readily accommodate the delays in ACA implementation the Obama administration has instituted to date.
      The administration's delays are also not constitutionally questionable. The framers of the Constitution directed the President not merely to “execute the laws” but also to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” From the earliest days of the Republic, that broad phrasing has been understood to mean that the President is to exercise judgment, and handle his enforcement duties, not with robotic obeisance to individual statutory terms or provisions but with fidelity to the overall statute and the purposes of Congress in enacting the underlying laws.
      This is not to say that either the “Take Care” clause of the Constitution or the Administrative Procedure Act is a blank check. Mitt Romney's pledge to grant “Obamacare waivers” by executive order — suspending a law that he disapproved of on policy grounds — would have been the kind of diktat that King George III had imposed on the pre-Revolution colonies and that the framers of the Constitution were intent on denying to the new American presidency. Repeated delays that begin to appear indefinite, or otherwise unjustifiable as legitimate phase-in adjustments, could become similarly questionable.
      So far, however, the administration's actions fit patterns established by past administrations (both Democratic and Republican) and countenanced by applicable statutory and constitutional provisions as applied by the courts. There is also little evidence that the administration's delays have had or will have any significant effect on health care coverage or on health care. The Congressional Budget Office concluded that the delay in the employer mandate would have a “negligible” effect on coverage. The administration's actions are not “blatantly illegal” but rather an attempt to make a complex law work.

      "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - my dad

      by briefer on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 04:14:28 PM PDT

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    •  sure (1+ / 0-)
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      Thank you for rightsplainin' that to us.

      +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

      by cybersaur on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 04:16:14 PM PDT

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