House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, watches President Barack Obama speak during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

House GOP’s anti-Obama lawsuit already in deep trouble

After months of congressional Republicans condemning the tyranny of a lawless, out-of-control White House, GOP leaders announced they would file a historic lawsuit, taking President Obama’s outrageous abuses to the courts. The transgression at the top of the Republicans list? A delayed deadline for an obscure Affordable Care Act provision.
Two months later, the litigation is already in bad shape. For one thing, it still hasn’t been filed. For another, Republicans recently had to replace their legal team after the original firm that took the case walked away. (The GOP hired, of all people, Maureen McDonnell’s lead defense attorney.)
Yesterday, as Jennifer Haberkorn reported, a similar case to the one Republicans are pushing was thrown out of court.
A federal appeals court has summarily tossed a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate – a case that is similar to the one that House Republicans plan to file against the president.
This suit was filed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which argued that the delay could hurt doctors financially. But the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Friday said the plaintiffs don’t have a right to sue.
A unanimous three-judge panel threw out the case only three days after oral argument, a breakneck speed.
That’s not a good sign.
Indeed, given that the House GOP’s case hasn’t actually been filed, it’s not too late for lawmakers to save taxpayers a few bucks and put an end to the p.r. stunt while the process is still in its infancy.
There are competing opinions about the merits of the case, but I continue to believe there’s just not much of a point to this. When the Bush/Cheney administration delayed comparable deadlines while implementing Medicare Part D, no one cared, and certainly no one thought to literally make a federal case out of it.
What’s more, let’s not forget that the Republicans are suing to require the Obama administration to immediately implement a policy the GOP lawmakers themselves do not actually want to see implemented.
In light of the 7th Circuit’s decision, GOP leaders could announce today that they’ve decided to save $350,000 and call this whole thing off. Six weeks before Election Day, voters might even be impressed.