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U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (C) departs after a closed-door meeting of the House Republican caucus during a rare Saturday session at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 28, 2013. With conservative House Republicans promising not to back d
The essential premise of House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama is that the president, in providing transitional relief to Obamacare's employer mandate by delaying enforcement of its penalties, is undermining the institutional authority of Congress, and that as the injured party, Congress must respond with legal action.

There's a problem with that theory, though. If Congress truly were injured, it could pass a law compelling the president to take the action it wants him to take. That hasn't happened, a point that House Republicans heard yesterday in a hearing on Boehner's lawsuit:

Walter Dellinger, a witness for the Democrats and a former solicitor general under President Bill Clinton, warned of the dangers of creating a federal judiciary that has too much authority to interfere with the executive and legislative branches. And he argued that allowing a lawsuit like Mr. Boehner’s could lead to a situation in which the president could turn around and sue Congress.  [....] Mr. Dellinger also noted that the House was pursuing the case on its own, without cooperation from the Senate, which he said undercut the notion that Congress as an institution had been wronged. “In lieu of having a law passed by the House and the Senate saying these new requirements have to take effect,” he said, “the House alone is going into court.”
The point is that if Congress feels injured, it has many levers of power other than going to court. The fact that Democrats control the Senate doesn't give Republicans an excuse to sue the president—it undermines the very theory of their lawsuit. Moreover, even without the Senate's cooperation in passing a new law, House Republicans still can force a government shutdown if they want to exercise their power. Of course, they almost certainly won't do that in 2014, because they realize it would be a political disaster for their party, but the fact that exercising their power is politically inconvenient isn't a very convincing rationale for why they should sue the president instead.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One of the witnesses asked....Who's gonna enforce (14+ / 0-)

    the outcome of a lawsuit?.......Good question.

    •  Mad dogs must be shot, er, distracted (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      diggerspop, RightHeaded, daeros

      The answer is, no one is going to enforce it. I suspect that from the start, Boehner realized that this stunt would fail at some point. His lawsuit is actually intended only to function as a shiny object to distract his deranged mad dog base.

    •  The SCt will just have to take over the executive. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, a2nite

      They are so sick and tired of all those elected people.

      Paraphrasing Mencken, today's republicans are motivated by the haunting fear that somewhere, some black guy may be getting away with something.

      by Inland on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:07:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What this would accomplish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OooSillyMe

      has been my question (well, one of them) all along.  What "remedy" do they seek?  This isn't a criminal lawsuit, it's a civil lawsuit.  Civil lawsuits do one of two things -- they enjoin a  party from some behavior that is demonstrably harming someone else, or they assess damages.  To the best of my knowledge, no civil lawsuit can compel positive action.  So, the entire basis of the lawsuit is flawed -- you can't use a civil case to make someone do something, only to make them stop or punish them via damages for having done something.  

      And another thing.  Who was damaged by the delay in implementation?  This delay was for large businesses. Please tell me any large business is going to come forward with verifiable numbers about the monetary damage they suffered from the delay in the implementaton of the law.  They can't.

      As far as the "damage" to Congress, even the full House won't agree to that, let alone the Senate.  

      And even if they were able to come up with some way to quantify the damage in dollars, given that the President was acting in his official capacity, he couldn't be held personally liable.  So, the courts are going to levy a fine on the Executive Branch?  And give it to whom?  The taxpayers, who are already providing the funds and who can demonstrate no harm?  The Congress, members of whom can't accept it personally, so they'll have use it to buy new drapes?

  •  Wonder what the odds are the (19+ / 0-)

    American people can sue those bastards for not doing their jobs? The damage they have done, and are doing, to this country by doing nothing is unspeakable.

    If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes.

    by RepresentUsPlease on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:36:48 PM PDT

  •  This Congress will be examined... (17+ / 0-)

    ...by historians and dissected ad nauseam. Nobody will ever make sense of how bungling, stupid, irascible, nasty, toxic, etc. it was, especially once it is clear how futile it all was.

    It is truly nothing short of a tragedy. A self-inflicted wound on the nation by those elected to heal it.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:37:26 PM PDT

    •  It Makes Sense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Termite

      The House Republicans' corporate sponsors are totally satisfied with the status quo, including its momentum towards better conditions. Why would it do anything but obstruct the system it spent decades setting up?

      FWIW, on half the problems Obama is part of the status quo. Why mess with that? Why impeach it?

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:46:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and impending political disaster has not yet (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Termite, DocGonzo, daeros

        stopped the Teahadists.  They like it.  Think it makes them look more principled.

        Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

        by hawkseye on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:50:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are parts that make sense (5+ / 0-)

        There are parts that do not.

        I understand that the Republicans have gerrymandered themselves into a place where they must be extremist and fringe to retain their base. But that was a voluntary decision. They could have changed with the times. They could have done more than pay Preibus-style lip service to the idea of evolving as a party. Instead they steered themselves into a cul-de-sac. And as they started to realize the errors of their ways, at no point did they adjust course. They just committed more fully to the course.

        As much as there are painful side effects to what is happening today and to what the GOP is inflicting on this country, we are absolutely witnessing the death throes of that party. They have cornered themselves with their own constituents. They have no strategy. All they have is tantrums of increasing ferocity.

        Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

        by The Termite on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:09:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Making Sense (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Termite, lcbo, daeros

          I agree with you, but to be a Republican post-Nixon you have to be pathological. Past Reagan/Bush you have to be sociopathological; past Bush/Cheney psychopathological. There is internal sense, pathological logic, the method to their madness.

          Sick people gravitate to a party that has the power to stir up sickness and stir the sick to the polls and the media. A standing wave of sickness.

          Their main pathology is denial, which means inability to admit mistakes or wrongdoing. That multiplies the corruption they started with, so their first choice is gaming a system they'd lose if played fairly - even if in the longer run they might win after taking some losses and changing in response.

          So when Obama was inevitably elected and inaugurated, amidst the financial collapse that was the culmination of the Bush/Cheney Republican era, they conspired to block Obama and nothing more. It did give them the 2010 majority, so they doubled down. They thought it would give them 2012, but their sick party produced nothing but Romney, the least sick looking of a sick crowd of competitors. They think it will give them 2014, and they might be right. If they get it, they might even get 2016, or at least have the same grounds for thinking so that 2010 gave them for thinking about 2012.

          Mainly what's at work is a party where sick people go, whose sickness prevents them from changing in response to failure. But the system they game is already so gamed that they can spiral on for more cycles, gaining more ground by gaming (and spreading their sickness among the active electorate).

          It doesn't make real sense to a person who's well enough to take their lumps and change to win, but Republicans long ago purged those people in favor of creating more sick ones. Their corporate sponsors are actually more deeply sick, but they've got even stronger feedback loops reinforcing their behavior.

          It speaks well of your sanity that their sickness doesn't make full sense to you. I can claim for myself only long familiarity with the insane, and long experience maintaining my sanity among them.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:26:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The pathology is worthy of study (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo

            It is a collective form of denial. They've all agreed to set reality aside. They're now so accustomed to living outside reality that it's become their knee jerk approach to everything. Can you imagine being one of the last remaining voices of reason in that party?

            Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

            by The Termite on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:59:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  _The Mass Psychology of Fascism_ (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              daeros, OldDragon, a2nite

              I'd skimmed Wilhelm Reich's The Mass Psychology of Fascism before Bush/Cheney. But after their inauguration defied the actual votes cast by the people, I was "disappointed" (revolted) to see Republicans gain seats in each Congressional chamber in 2002, contrary to historical trend.  So I read the whole book.

              It described America's authoritarian development into fascism, complete with the sexual repression and "family values" hypocrisies - and the corporatism.

              What I just posted about the Republicans I called "post-Nixon", but that also coincides with "anti Sexual Revolution". They are deeply intertwined.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:05:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  They have to punish the uppity negro, to make (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        daeros

        their racist evil voting base happy, or throw them some red meat.

        F*CK the teapublikkkans.
        F*CK their voters.

        They're evil & they're winning.

        I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

        by a2nite on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:22:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What? Corporations WANTED Obama to do what he did (0+ / 0-)

        They hate the employer mandate.  Obama did their bidding when he delayed the mandate.  He's on their side.

        •  They Want It All (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OldDragon, a2nite

          You are correct. But what they want more is no mandate. Getting the mandate delay undermined the mandate as a whole. So they get their cake and eat it too. That two-step is why we still have a two party system, instead of a permanent Whatever majority.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:40:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  the whole proposal sounds kind of half-baked. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, ditsylilg
  •  Bet someone thought it was a palliative for the TP (9+ / 0-)

    to keep them happy (ish) while taking Impeachment off the table.

    Bet someone had no idea WTF he was talking about when he sprang that one on them.

    Bet he's committed now and has to do something or he's lost face.

    I wonder which court he'll file in?

    /what a douche.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:39:29 PM PDT

  •  Bad argument (6+ / 0-)

    We should not be supporting the idea that if a President ignores the law (which I do not think Obama is doing in this case), both houses of Congress acting by 2/3 votes is the only remedy.  That is in fact a path to authoritarian rule.

    Better to let them play out this charade.  Even if a court finds that this delay goes beyond administrative authority, the issue will be moot before the appeals are complete.

    •  Bad Action (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patbahn, MPociask

      I also agree with Boehner that Obama shouldn't have relieved by his Executive Order(s) employers from ACA mandates he had signed into law. If a court rules that he didn't have that power, it would indeed be a welcome check on "Unitary Executive" power. Obama has certainly exercised quite a lot of that, despite badmouthing it when Bush/Cheney were the Unit.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:49:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You probably haven't worked in Gov't (0+ / 0-)

        The executive, unitary or not, functions have always, historically, had reasonable latitude in implementation of the practical aspects of large programs.  You opposed to recess appointments too, in general, or just this time?

        •  I've Worked In Government (0+ / 0-)

          Where does the ACA give that latitude? Where is an encompassing statute that gives it?

          I was the technology advisor to the NY City Council (legislature) Technology Committee. What credentials do you invoke for your argument to authority? What are you implying with your arbitrary reference to recess appointments? I could make ambiguous implications to your defense of employers from mandates but not consumers, if I wanted to play your game, but I don't.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:34:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "I was the technology advisor to the NY (0+ / 0-)

            City Council (legislature) Technology Committee"

            No offense, but this makes you more qualified than voicemail to opine on the legal implications of the delay of a portion of a health care law and the legal issues surrounding federal separation of powers in what way?

            •  Who Cares? (0+ / 0-)

              No, it makes their empty challenges obviously invalid. I didn't say it made me qualified, I just rejected their overreach. You are the one compounding that into a strawman.

              What makes me qualified to opine is the correctness of my opinion. What shows they're not qualified is their overreach. No offense, but therefore doubly so for yours.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:18:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This comment talks about (0+ / 0-)

                "their overreach." Whose overreach, precisely?  And then we get something about a strawman.  This first paragraph is such a word salad, it seems as though you've been taking lessons from Sarah Palin.

                "What makes me qualified to opine is the correctness of my opinion."

                Oh, well, that settles that. We'll simply consult you every time there is an issue and always be right.  How convenient for us to have someone omniscient at our disposal here at DKos.

                "What shows they're not qualified is their overreach."

                Overreach typically refers to someone taking on more power or authority than they are entitled to.  I'm not sure what power this commenter took on.

                "No offense, but therefore doubly so for yours."

                Again, I'm not sure how asking a question about a person's expertise qualifies as overreach.  Of course, since you are omniscient, I guess it could be construed that way on your part  -- "I know everything, how dare these peons question me?"  In my own defense, I had no idea you were omniscient, therefore, I questioned you just like I would anyone else commenting on this site or any other.  I do beg your forgiveness, o thee of perfect knowledge.

                Seriously, you seem terribly defensive, and anyone who is defensive and needs to negate not the argument but the person they are dealing with is usually pretty insecure, or, at least insecure about what they are contending.  Ease up.  We're just having a discussion here, okay?

                •  Word Salad Overreach (0+ / 0-)

                  Short version: Who cares?

                  Long version:
                  Who is "they"? Its' the poster who asked the question. Which is clear to someone for whom English is more than "word salad".

                  Their premise of my lack of government experience, when I have ample, was overreach. Which I spelled out - more "word salad", I suppose, to the reader.

                  You tried a strawman on me, converting the irrelevant but obnoxious (and backfiring) question about my (asserted lack of) government experience into a question about whether that qualifies me to comment, when I didn't say it was a qualification (or not). Strawman.

                  If you're not going to accept my standing to opine based on the correctness of my opinion, then who cares what you think of my opinion? If you're just going to be obnoxious when rejecting that basis, then who cares what you think?

                  Topping your something salad, you compare me to Sarah Palin. Who cares what else comes out of that poster? Rejecting the credibility of a poster who posts like that doesn't "negate" them - just more overreach, this time on your part.

                  You're taking a fallacious post by someone else as far as you can, with deeper fallacies, projection of "word salad" onto perfectly clear sentences of mine, obnoxious sarcasm. You're portraying rejecting garbage posts into "negating" people. You compare me to Palin. You tell me to "ease up" while you're pumping all that crap.

                  Take a look at yourself for a moment. Get back to me when it's worth seeing.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:16:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Word salad isn't just whether or (0+ / 0-)

                    not you can form complete sentences.  It's whether the sentences have any meaning.  Part of having meaningful sentences is whether or not the concepts in them are used correctly.  This latest comment, along with the others, continue to demonstrate you have no idea what "overreach"and "strawman" mean.

                    And, just a bit of friendly advice, you aren't likely to persuade most people (anyone?) on this site of pretty much anything merely by insisting you are right, so, end of discussion.  That kind of arrogance really puts people off.  Especially since you appear to be lacking in your ability to understand the concepts you invoke.  Your ideas may even have some validity, but a lack of willingness to take the time to explain them coherently isn't going to get people to see their value.

                    Oh, and BTW, saying someone is "overreaching" is an attack on (or at least a personal criticism of) them, not what they said or wrote.  Words or ideas cannot "overreach," only people can.

                    •  Illiteracy (0+ / 0-)

                      I did not say my credentials come from my assertion of correctness, but rather that they come from my correctness. That is simple merit based value of information.

                      The strawman was your saying that I claimed credentials by my government experience, when I said no such thing. Making up lies to disagree with is the definition of strawman.

                      When someone overreaches by trying, in your words, to "negate" me (funny how that didn't bother you) by implying that I don't have government experience so I don't know what I'm talking about, though I do have government experience - it's not a "personal attack" to say what they did "overreaching". Because it is. It's a legitimate defense. Also funny is how none of the fallacies they or you threw into this disagreement bother you at all. Calling them out doesn't slow you down one bit.

                      It's your fault you can't understand plain English. Word salad is in the bowl of the conveniently confused beholder. But "strawman" and "overreach" have completely objective meanings that your inability to read can't call by another name.

                      I really don't care if I put you off. I've already itemized more than once the rancid content you injected into this thread at me. I wish you would take being put off more seriously. Stop pretending you're being friendly - you're spewing garbage and insisting I shake its hand.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:21:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "I did not say my credentials come (0+ / 0-)

                        from my assertion of correctness, but rather that they come from my correctness. "

                        Do you you mean your correctness didn't come from your credentials, but because you were correct?  See what I mean by word salad?

                        Also, you you failed to support your "correctness" with any facts or reasoning.  I can declare anything to be correct.  If I wish to convince others of its validity I have to make a case for it.  Although, you keep saying "who cares?" So, I guess I should conclude that for you, posting here isn't an effort to persuade or participate in a discussion.  You simply want to use the forum to boost your ego by declaring that you are right.

                        "The strawman was your saying that I claimed credentials by my government experience, when I said no such thing. Making up lies to disagree with is the definition of strawman."

                        Please read what I actually wrote.  In fact, I questioned why your credentials were relevant to the point you were making.  That's all.  If you are saying that they weren't but you just listed them because someone asked for them, fine.  Just say that instead of treating the question like an attack.

                        "When someone overreaches by trying, in your words, to "negate" me (funny how that didn't bother you) by implying that I don't have government experience so I don't know what I'm talking about, though I do have government experience - it's not a "personal attack" to say what they did "overreaching".

                        I would point out that your government experience really isn't relevant to the topic at hand.  It's New York City government, not federal government, it's technology not health care, and it's not a legal background in the constitution or a background in constitutional history.  My brother's stepson works for the government as a local animal control officer for a town in upstate New York.  I wouldn't find his insights into this situation particularly persuasive on that basis, either.  If he made a compelling argument, I'd certainly listen.

                        Also, in what definition of overreaching, is it to negate someone?  Negating could be characterized as mean, or it could be characterized as inaccurate, but it simply can't be called "overreach" because that's not what the word means.

                        "It's your fault you can't understand plain English. Word salad is in the bowl of the conveniently confused beholder. But "strawman" and "overreach" have completely objective meanings that your inability to read can't call by another name."

                        The failure to communicate with one's listeners is the failure of the person speaking, not the failure of the listener.  I'm sorry about your frustration here, but declaring your clarity without actually being clear accomplishes nothing.  Your word order and syntax recall Yoda.  This paragraph is the perfect example of that.  Try simple declarative sentences and skip using metaphors and allusions you obviously don't understand.

                        "I really don't care if I put you off. I've already itemized more than once the rancid content you injected into this thread at me. I wish you would take being put off more seriously. Stop pretending you're being friendly - you're spewing garbage and insisting I shake its hand."

                        Quite frankly you seem more intent on being defensive, proving you are right and that you are the victim than you seem to care about honestly and positively communicating with me or anyone else.  And then projecting your hostility on to me.  I you don't wish to take my advice, it's no skin off my nose.  I do think you are going to become frustrated very quickly on this site.  We tend to like respectful discussions and not people declaring themselves right with no evidence and that everyone else is an idiot.  There are plenty of other sites where you can do that all day long.  You might be more comfortable there.  You're certainly not happy here.

                        •  No (0+ / 0-)
                          Do you you mean your correctness didn't come from your credentials, but because you were correct?  See what I mean by word salad?

                          No, because I never said what you just said. I suppose if you can't even keep straight a simple statement you read, but take issue with it, that's still a strawman on your part though you're incapable of seeing it.

                          Of course I'm intent on defending myself from the inane and dishonest criticism you are posting at me in public. Of course I'm "defensive" about that.

                          You are incapable of reading my posts except in selfserving corrupted versions. It's not really illiteracy, which was my charitable assumption. It's a deeper personality disorder. The more I see it coming through your posts, the less  I care what you think, and the more I care about ending my exposure to its toxic narcissism.

                          Goodbye.

                          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                          by DocGonzo on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 03:19:25 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  "No, because I never said what you just said" (0+ / 0-)

                            Exactly.  This was just my guess at what you were attempting to convey.  Apparently, your thinking is so incomprehensible it was undecipherable.

                            Strawman: "The so-called typical "attacking a straw man" argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent's proposition by covertly replacing it with a different proposition (i.e., "stand up a straw man") and then to refute or defeat that false argument ("knock down a straw man") instead of the original proposition."

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                            I have replaced none of your arguments with different propositions, nor tried to "defeat" them.  I merely asked for clarification or further support of what you contend beyond, "it's right because I say it is."  I'm sorry I had to resort to quoting a definition, but you genuinely don't seem to understand the concept you refer to.

                            "Of course I'm intent on defending myself from the inane and dishonest criticism you are posting at me in public. Of course I'm "defensive" about that."

                            Might I suggest a more productive course would be to support your arguments rather than hunker down and profess to be right because, well, you are right?  Adults simply don't engage in discussions in this way.

                            "It's a deeper personality disorder. The more I see it coming through your posts, the less  I care what you think, and the more I care about ending my exposure to its toxic narcissism."

                            Wow, four or five reasoned responses to your contentions and you come up with this?  Perhaps you ought to give up your technical career and become a psychologist.  If you can diagnose someone by reading less than 500 words they've written, you should become a star in the field.  I suspect that, once again, do you not understand the terms you bandy about.

                            I hope that someday you are able to be mature enough to understand that someone asking you questions and asking for the proof of your contentions is not an attack but merely an inquiry.  Good luck to you.

      •  He didn't (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        offgrid, msdrown, lcbo, TRPChicago

        The President didn't relieve them from the mandate; the mandate was delayed for implementation purposes. Timing adjustments for tax laws are routine.

      •  No, such "relief" has been done dozens of times (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TRPChicago

        when laws are in the beginning stages of implementation.  Someone was on TV just yesterday citing W doing it many times wrt the medicare law that was passed during his time, and for other laws too.  He cited Clinton doing the same sorts of reliefs multiple times, as well as HW and Reagan.  Delaying provisions of laws in the beginning stages of a law has been done over and over to try to make sure that the implementation goes smoothly.  And this is part of executive power.

        The "remedy" for that, is if the public doesn't like it, they can vote in someone else come election time.  Or Congress can pass another law compelling particular methods of implementation, or can try impeachment.  Courts are going to get involved in a law implementation dispute between the president and Congress, much less the president and one house of congress.

        •  The Role of the Courts (0+ / 0-)

          In fact it is perfectly appropriate for the courts to get involved in disputes between Congress and the president. That is indeed one of their core roles in our balanced/divided government. Which is why there are such lawsuits all the time - it is standard operating procedure.

          Congress has the prerogative to allow presidents to violate laws it passed, though the people have the prerogative to take it to the courts if Congress doesn't (or even if it does). This is how the system works.

          I understand that Boehner is grandstanding with this lawsuit, deciding to sue before knowing what for, and ginning up election turnout on an impeachment groundswell. And that he's even likely to impeach Obama over something, as Republicans think impeaching Clinton paid off for them (it did).

          But that doesn't mean that the chosen pretext isn't legit. Though it might not be legit - which is really a matter for a proper court hearing to decide.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:38:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Their pretext IS a pretext. Challenge the ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            anon004

            ... application if the law, fine. Yes, that happens "all the time." Sue because the result is somehow discriminatory and hurts X, Y and Z in particular ways. Not because one side of Congress wants to torpedo a presidential initiative it tried to pass a year before.

            The arrogance of suing the president for altering a plan this Congress never liked or wanted is a crass political ploy ... and courts should not be parties to it.

            2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:36:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Courts Parties to It (0+ / 0-)

              If you're correct, the courts will reject hearing it on those grounds. That is the process.

              This lawsuit might indeed be frivolous and an inappropriate dragging a third branch into a political conflict or one the law says is more appropriate for the Legislative Branch to handle itself. The binding decision of which path is for the court to decide, which can happen only once the court is asked to accept the decision.

              Our divided/balanced government is not designed to efficiently dispatch each move of its power. It is designed to require majority consensus between competing divisions with different powers and presumably different vested interests. The issue of how this kind of campaign by the House through the entire history of a presidency is to be resolved is important, because the enmity between Congress and the president is probably the new normal.

              Indeed, once these atrophied checks and balances  are exercised, finally the accountability loops will have a chance to deter branches from overreach that would just waste their time being rejected by the other branch(es). Which is an excellent investment of time in indulging.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:04:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're raised very important new points, but ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... I still disagree. You wrote ...

                The issue of how this kind of campaign by the House through the entire history of a presidency is to be resolved is important, because the enmity between Congress and the president is probably the new normal.
                There are two thoughts there. First, that the GOP-controlled House's "campaign" (I agree it is a campaign) "is to be resolved." I don't think this lawsuit will do that, even if it is successful (which I very much doubt). Today's fractionated House will not accept this one lawsuit or the threat of impeachment as adequate to meet their objections to this president and to Federal government generally. And, neither will dispose of the obdurate antagonism of many - but importantly, not all - of the House Republicans. So in no way does this "resolve" the debacle this House in Republican hands has become.

                Second, it is not "Congress" that is at loggerheads with President Obama, it's Republicans. This is political "enmity" to use your term, not institutional enmity.

                And third, No, I don't think it's the new normal. Historians of almost all stripes will, I suggest, look back at these days - not too long into the future - in sorrow for what governance had become due to a resurrection of the Bircher-types and the evangelical extremists able to use mechanisms available for decades (centuries for gerrymandering) to exercise out-sized control of one House of Congress.

                Democrats won a majority of votes in House elections in 2012. But we lost those seats because the votes were jiggered by the districting process and the influence of primaries in red states. From that perspective, Yes, it's an institution-wide failure, but one that is redressible by elections, not a silly, ill-begotten lawsuit that tries to divvy up constitutional powers.

                2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                by TRPChicago on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 02:40:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Resolution (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TRPChicago

                  I think that this particular campaign will be resolved in the courts. It's the "sue Obama" campaign. An impeachment campaign very well could come out of it, but since its goal will be impeachment in the House (and acquittal in the Senate) it will be a separate campaign. I do not think that the overall campaign to obstruct and harass Obama will be resolved by anything except perhaps his succession in January 2016. Though these same Republicans do still harass Clinton, and Carter too for that matter - they still obstruct FDR and LBJ.

                  I do think this is the new normal. It results in the current status quo for the corporate sponsors of each party, which is extremely good and only getting better. That success is reinvested in further empowerment of that patronage cycle. I will add that I am increasingly convinced that Democrats are committed to maintaining a Republican "bad cop" to their "good cop", as evidenced by their commitments to "bipartisanship" when the only ones who believe in that are, again, their corporate sponsors. Among those commitments the continued fillibusters, the failure to prosecute banksters or war criminals, the failure to even challenge the spies shredding the Constitution while leaving us attacked at home and abroad...

                  More conflict between those branches over their appropriate powers is actually good, and the basic design of the Constitutional government. If only Congress would do what's in its power to take back control of deploying the military only on its declaration of war, we might be more free from neverending "executive actions", inevitably at home.

                  Yes, Republicans drive the Congressional failures, but it takes two to tango. Failing to reform the fillibuster is pretty good proof, but even during the two solid years Obama had Democratic control of the House and Senate, a huge election mandate, crises on every front making all deals in the universe go through him, Democrats barely passed Obamacare. Republicans control a do-nothing Congress, and a lawsuit interfering with the president doing something in their dereliction is on behalf of a Congress they control through inertia.

                  Again, this lawsuit isn't silly. Even if Obama is within his Constitutional powers to act as he has, the only way to define that is through the Judicial Branch. And any way that goes it should activate the public more. Their apathy underwrites the status quo and the inertia. The atrophy of competing powers that are how balances check each branch in principle, but in practice have grown into collusion to drift into a muddle that feeds only the global police state and the disgust of the people from whom consent is required for just government.

                  Look, if I started out committed to Obama because Boehner and Republicans are obviously evil, I'd dismiss this lawsuit as silly, too - it's ill-begotten because it's begotten from the sick people who are the Republican Party. But flexing the separated powers principle isn't silly. The question of executive "adjustment" of clear terms of laws passed through extreme contention but eventual agreement is essential. Whichever way it is drawn Congress must be able to take its boundaries into account when it writes laws. As usual, the shoe will be on the other foot sometime sooner than later, even if that's with a successor to the Republican Party.

                  Ultimately I believe that the government must use its checks and balances. This lawsuit is exactly that. I do expect the courts to show Republicans were, as usual, shedding crocodile tears when claiming damage. And I think it's better they do than that we're afraid to see it.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 07:41:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  That's not (4+ / 0-)

      the only remedy, they could pass bills. They could win more elections. The point is just because they have available pathway to the remedy they want. Just because they neither have the votes in congress to enact what they want. Nor did they acquire the votes needed to change the congress to their liking to pass their agenda or change the President. They basically are saying is we don't like how the game is going so we are taking our ball and going home.

    •  Bad math...Only majority in House needed to (0+ / 0-)

      impeach...Not 2/3rds. 2/3rds needed in Senate to convict and remove....Anyway, Impeachment is absolutely the best and only remedy...

    •  Exactly. Environmental laws will not be enforced (0+ / 0-)

      if the next president is a Republican.  Obama could sign a law with carbon limits that starts on January 1st, 2018.   The odds of carbon limits actually being enforced by a Republican president are ZERO if Obama's theory of executive power becomes normalized, which appears to be happening.  The president will just waive the parts of the law he doesn't like.  President as king, democracy dead.

      •  If a Republican followed Obama's example, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tony Situ

        he could only delay a small portion of the law for a year, until 2019.  

        Oh, and this isn't Obama refusing to enforce a law GW signed, this is Obama delaying a portion of the law he signed.

        Your hypothetical doesn't fit the actual circumstances.  It sounds like something you heard on Fox "News" and chose to believe was true.

  •  That Means Impeachment (5+ / 0-)

    Indeed, the remedy appropriate to the House alone deciding it's been wronged by the president is to impeach the president. If the House is correct that "Congress" (therefore the Senate too) has been wronged, then the Senate will agree and convict.

    If the court doesn't reject the case as a political matter within the House's own power to resolve, then the court is even more corrupt and partisan than it's demonstrated so far. Which means the republic is lost, if Democrats can't get the electorate to see that by Election Day.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:44:57 PM PDT

    •  In the words of Tom Delay circa 1998 (0+ / 0-)

      Impeachment is the only thing that the Constitution mentions...

      (of course, Delay was responding to suggestions that censuring President Clinton was a more prudent and appropriate Congressional response than impeachment).

    •  Speaking of which, every Democrat who is in a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo, Proud Liberal Dem, anon004

      a competitive race in the upcoming congressional election should publicly ask his/her GOP opponent, "If elected, will you pursue impeachment of the President?"  If they say "yes", it hurts them with the general public; if they say "no", it hurts them with their base. It's win/win for Democrats to make this election a referendum on impeachment.

  •  the house can cut funding to the white house. (0+ / 0-)

    if they are unhappy, they can cut funding to the presidents
    staff or they can forbid the DHHS staff from drawing
    paychecks until the mandate is effected...

    they have remedies of their own

    •  No bowling alley for you! (0+ / 0-)
      •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)

        Which was so painful for the President, since his staff had already decided not to obtain funding for the renovations the previous week.

        So, the House pissed away how much time and money refusing to do something no one had asked them to do?

        Must be time to outlaw a non-existent ACORN again.

        I think we should just refer the House majority as either The Don Quixote Caucus or The Jean Paul Sartre Caucus.

        Or is that too literary for people who pride themselves on avoiding "that fancy booklearnin' "?

  •  I don't see how the House itself has been wronged, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    patbahn, mjbleo, offgrid, TRPChicago

    as the action the President took was a request by the corporations to give them some time to transition.  Since we know that House members have signed up for the ACA, how can they prove they've been wronged?

    Precedence has already been set by W who picked and chose what aspects of any bill he signed that he would comply with.  I don't think Boehner thought this through...

    "We know too much to go back and pretend" - Helen Reddy (humble cosmos shaker)

    by ditsylilg on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:53:55 PM PDT

  •  What's below the surface of the House complaint... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madronagal

    ... is What Everybody Knows ...

    ... that the lawsuit is fomented by the GOP House leadership which has obdurately opposed ACA moving forward. AND, reportedly, the House approved just such a delay in the mandate a year previously.

    While these may not be facts compelling from a legal perspective, they are very insightful in showing this litigation up for what it is - a political gesture with nothing behind it but political pique.

    Entertaining this case would insert the judiciary into political processes in a most direct way. At bottom, I think judges across the political spectrum will see the dangers of accepting cases like this one.

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:55:07 PM PDT

  •  Boehner's is a House Speaker-ship fail... (6+ / 0-)

    of epic proportions, the likes of which have not been seen in living memory...if ever.
    That his 'caucus' has not ditched him, is more proof of just how screwed up the TeaOP itself is.
    If Democrats do not unite, and pounce loudly on all of this absurdity in the run-up to the midterms, then sadly, we may as well just hand over the keys to the Brothers Grimm, aka, Koch.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin--

    by kevinbr38 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 01:56:10 PM PDT

  •  Another flaw (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004

    so let's say this farce proceeded, and let's say BHO was found "guilty"… then….. what?

    Prison time? A big fine that who pays? Um, they make BHO personally enforce a law by some unknown mechanism?

    Or is it like an exploding cigar in Boner's face were everyone says "so what?"

    •  This is not a criminal charge (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anon004

      On the other hand, what IS the remedy? The mandate takes effect I believe in January -5months from now..... before the lawsuit will likely even conclude.  What a waste  of taxpayer money Boehner is causing.

  •  There is no theory behind the lawsuit! (0+ / 0-)

    In fact, the whole concept of there being "theories" that motivate the strange old party is a fantasy.  

  •  This is about one thing, and one thing only . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    offgrid, bonch, TRPChicago

    pacifying the tea party base before the 2014 elections.  Gotta give them something or it's a bloody mess at the g-o-pee.

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:12:34 PM PDT

    •  They will not be pacified (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TRPChicago

      until Obama is run out of town on a rail or tied to the back of a wagon, and an arch-right-wing evangelical Christian is put in his place.

      Which means they will not be pacified, period. Boehner thinking they can be is as delusional as Obama thinking the GOP would negotiate with him in good faith.

  •  When will Boehner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    regis

    Finally be arrested for sedition?

    "Things are not as they appear to be, nor are they otherwise." - Buddha

    by US Blues on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:26:00 PM PDT

  •  Hard (0+ / 0-)

    to put lipstick on that pig...

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:36:37 PM PDT

  •  Sanctionable under Rule 11? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caoimhin Laochdha

    To the  seems that their are multiple issues of justiciability with the Republican's case including case or controversy, political question and other basic standing issues that would preclude this case from ever being heard on the merits and would likely get it quickly tossed. Of course its likely to be appealed because Republicans just can't overlook another golden opportunity to make themselves seem foolish. I am wondering if we have any Federal litigators, law professors or other legal sharpies out there familiar with the issues and perhaps the DC district judges well enough to know whether such a frivolous case could be sanctionable under Rule 11 or some other method. I am not an expert and I might be reaching here, but a reading of the plain language of Rule 11 seems to indicate a credible case could be made.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:46:27 PM PDT

    •  sorry for missing text in the first line (0+ / 0-)

      Hope that is understandable...really wish we had a 3 minute edit option

      Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

      by bywaterbob on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:48:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  certainly a high risk (0+ / 0-)

      and I assume will be taken into account by any lawyer who is considering taking the case.

      At the moment, I gather the House hasn't decided whether to go forward, and hasn't secured legal counsel.

      OTH, the SCOTUS decision in the recess appointments case could give them enough of a thread to hang a plausible argument on -- and it's conceivable that they have an inside track into the SCOTUS with reassurances from the ultra-right Justices that they won't be left high and dry. Of course that would be highly improper, but with Thomas's wife's inside (does she still work for the Liberty Lobby?) and their other back channels, I wouldn't rule it out.

      •  Note the Republican/conservative lawyers ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... who are not stepping forth to take this ridiculous lawsuit.

        I would rule out back channel chatter with any Supreme Court justice. I'd wager a strong majority, perhaps unanimously, would bounce this case out ... or simply duck taking it if a Court of Appeals bounced it.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:43:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes this is a political question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tony Situ

      not a legal one.  Case dismissed. The lawsuit is barely worthy of a disdainful single page motion to dismiss.  

      I do not know where the case is, procedurally, but a judge will be on firm ground dismissing the Complaint sua sponte and ruling that Boehner is only raising a political question, not a legal one (among other reasons). Or, as we say in English, the judge can throw out the lawsuit because there is no case to hear. There are no facts to determine, no legal issue(s) that merits a ruling(s). The only thing Boehner has given the Court is a Dead Parrot. It is a non-lawsuit

      Congress is empowered to "fix" any legitimate political grievances.  The courts are not.  

      As far as Rule 11 sanctions go, I would not even dignify the lawsuit with a sanctions request. This needs to be treated like dandruff, and spoken of even less seriously.

      sláinte,
      cl
      -- Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

      by Caoimhin Laochdha on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 05:10:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Revisionist bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

    The House did pass legislation to authorize a delay in the employer mandate, namely

    Authority for Mandate Delay Act (H.R. 2667; 113th Congress)
    ----------------
    http://thehill.com/...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/...
    -------------------
    It was passed 9 days after President Obama announced his executive order to delay the mandate.  35 Democrats joined the Republicans is voting for it.  It would have allowed the President to implement the delay according to proper constitutional process.   Immediately after its passage Obama issued a veto threat, saying legislative authorization was unnecessary.  Obama simply didn't want legislation to delay the mandate.  He wanted to do it by executive order or not at all.  He was quite clear about that.  The bill failed to pass through the whole Congress because the Senate Democratic leadership never let the bill get a floor vote in the Senate.  They killed it.  Don't blame Republicans for that. It's entirely the fault of Democrats that the bill was denied a floor vote in the Senate.  They were probably afraid it might actually pass.

  •  More proof that Obama should have refused (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    to negotiate with terrorists, um sorry, Republicans. They -- and their business cronies and lobbyists -- were screaming about the employer mandate and how unfair it was. That's why he delayed it.

    In hindsight, he should have just said "Sorry, the law is the law -- if you want to change it, you'll have to change it. I can't do anything about it on my own."

    Mr. Nice Guy didn't work. We knew that, but he kept trying to appease them.

  •  If the House Republicans were actually thinking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TRPChicago, andalusi, VClib

    what they would do is pick an executive order or regulation (I understand the ACA delays were done by regulation at the direction of the President) that they think exceeds the scope of the statute, and then find an individual that is harmed by the effect of  executive order/regulation, and have THAT INDIVIDUAL seek to have the executive order/regulation declared invalid as beyond the scope of the statute.  There's always SOMEONE who has some reason that they don't want the executive order/regulation to be in effect.

    In that kind of lawsuit, the Courts WOULD have authority to declare the executive order/regulation invalid if it conflicted with a statute, or exceeded the scope of a statute. Courts opine on that kind of thing all the time.

    I will be very interested in seeing what is actually filed.  But the way that it is being framed, it seems the House Republicans are more interested in making a political statement than in actually getting a decision about whether the President has taken actions beyond the scope of the law.  

    •  Has there ever been a SCOTUS case where the House (0+ / 0-)

      or Senate has been the plaintiff?  That may be fundamentally different than a member acting as an individual.  

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 05:14:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I got an idea why is it the people here on the ... (0+ / 0-)

    I got an idea why is it the people here on the vary website can't get active in the situation? You all sit here crying about lack of action and no actions taken by Democrats on any of this, yet you do nothing to move the party.. Get up get involved in online every day getting people to vote Democrat in the mid terms and by asking I have 30 people of age already who pledged to vote who didn't want to before... Do your part and stop asking for victory to be given too you.

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