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July 31, 2014

A Question of Standing: Does the GOP House have any class? Does it have a good lawyer?

I used to like the GOP more. Whether or not I voted its way on a candidate or an issue, I liked what Republicans brought to the table in the national discourse. We need a two-party system in America. And until House Republicans decided to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998, I had the utmost respect for any articulate bearer of the GOP line. I needed to hear those ideas. But now my enthusiasms are dampened even more. Yesterday, the House 225-201 House voted to authorize a suit against President Obama for failure to implement statue as passed by Congress. See, e.g., today's Politico. Specifically, GOP members of Congress claim they are harmed by the White House's series of reprieves via executive orders on enforcement of a requirement under the Affordable Care Act that employers offer health coverage or pay a penalty--a requirement that most Republicans oppose anyway. At best, the vote gives both Rs and Ds something to spin during the upcoming mid-term Congressional elections. But apart from that, the ideologically-driven vote is embarrassing and petty given the expanded use of executive orders by all modern presidents to tweak statutes. This is a political squabble. Purely political. In addition, it will be difficult for the House to allege in its complaint that the House itself has been injured by any of the president's action. As such, under well-settled constitutional law, no federal court is likely to grant standing to the GOP plaintiffs.

Above: George Thorogood. "And one day in 1998 the GOP members broke real bad and stayed that way."

Posted by JD Hull at July 31, 2014 11:54 AM


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