More than four months after House Republicans announced their historic plan to sue President Obama, the litigation, like so many initiatives from GOP lawmakers, has become a fiasco. Josh Gerstein and Maggie Haberman reported overnight that the Republicans’ lawyers have given up on the case – again.
House Speaker John Boehner’s still-unfiled lawsuit against President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional power is in more trouble.For the second time in two months, a major law firm has backed out of an agreement to pursue the case, sources say.
Apparently, the attorneys responsible for the case decided to give up “in recent weeks,” but we’re just learning about their decision now. Boehner’s office wouldn’t comment on why they quit the case, though a spokesperson for the Speaker told Politico, “The litigation remains on track, but we are examining the possibility of forgoing outside counsel and handling the litigation directly through the House.”
The piece added that some in the D.C. legal community “believe it’s possible no suit will ever be filed.”
To appreciate the severity of the fiasco, consider this timeline of events:
* June 24: House Republican leaders acknowledge their plan to sue President Obama. They weren’t sure why they wanted to file the case, but GOP officials intended to think of something.
* July 10: Speaker Boehner formally releases a bill authorizing his anti-Obama litigation. The Republicans’ case intended to force the implementation of an obscure provision of the Affordable Care Act which Republicans don’t actually want to see implemented.
* August 25: House Republicans agree to pay a D.C. law firm $500 an hour, in taxpayer money, to handle the case.
* September 18: The Republicans are forced to pick a different D.C. law firm after their first lawyers gave up on the case, who hadn’t even filed the lawsuit.
* September 19: A federal appeals court throws out a lawsuit extremely similar to the one GOP leaders intend to file.
* October 29: The public learns that the Republicans’ second set of lawyers have also given up on the case, which still hasn’t been filed.
Over the summer, Boehner and other GOP officials said this was an incredibly important case, which was absolutely necessary to address a “constitutional crisis.” Four months later, it seems pretty obvious there is no crisis, the lawsuit was a fairly pathetic election-year stunt, and there’s just no reason to keep this rolling fiasco alive.
As we talked about the other day, it’s not too late for Boehner to concede this was a bad idea from the start. Republicans can save us some time, aggravation, and money by just giving up on this nonsense.