Skip to comments.When Obama Rewrites Obamacare, Why Doesn't Anyone Sue Him? Senator Mike Lee explains.
Posted on 02/12/2014 7:36:18 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
President Obama has repeatedly suspended parts of the Affordable Care Act without the consent of Congress. The latest unilateral action happened Monday night, when the administration announced another delay of the employer mandate, the law's provision that businesses with more than 50 employees must provide their employees with insurance starting in 2014 or pay large fines. In July, the president decreed the mandate wouldn't be enforced at all in 2014, and last night administration officials declared that businesses with 50 to 99 employees wouldn't be penalized in 2015.
Republicans have denounced such actions as "lawless." But if what the president has done is illegal, then why haven't Republicans, or anyone else, taken him to court to stop him? According to Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a conservative Republican with impeccable legal credentials, the main problem is finding someone who would have the standing to sue the president over his unilateral changes to the law.
In order to establish standing, Lee told THE WEEKLY STANDARD in a phone interview, "You've got to show three things: you've got to show that the plaintiff has suffered an injury in fact--a concrete, particularized harm that's fairly traceable to the conduct of the defendent, and it is capable of being redressed or remedied by the court."
"It's not immediately apparent to me who it is that would have standing to show that they would be injured by this," Lee said. "The people directly affected by the employer mandate are employers. But I would imagine that the administration would argue, if sued on this by an employer..., 'You can't show you've been injured by this. We're letting you off the hook.'"
Many of the president's other changes to the law--such as allowing insurers to sell plans outlawed by Obamacare and delaying the individual mandate for those who had their insurance plans canceled--have similarly relieved burdens.
But why couldn't U.S. taxpayers, who will be stuck paying for these executive actions, sue the president? "The general public, the taxpayers, are hurt in that this makes that much more unstable and that much more unaffordable a program that was already unstable and unaffordable. But there is a longstanding jurisprudential rule that one cannot establish standing merely by virtue of one's status as a taxpayer, absent certain rare circumstances," Lee said.
So when no one has standing to sue the president, is there anything Congress can do to stop his unconstitutional actions? "I think the most effective, efficient way of doing it, the way that sort of maximizes the deterrent effect without significantly disrupting government in general is for Congress to use its spending power in such way that withholds funds in areas in which the president has overreached," Lee said. "There were many who suggested that we do precisely that, for example, with the illegal recess appointments by withholding funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau--you know, when Richard Corday was illegally recess appointed. But alas, the CFPB is funded through the Federal Reserve, which is a private, for-profit corporation and isn't funded by Congress, so that was outside of Congress's purview."
"In other circumstances, Congress has just declined to exercise that option of withholding funding," Lee continued. "But it is what Congress is supposed to do. The Founding Fathers contemplated that. James Madison discussed it in Fedralist 57. And it's perhaps the most effective, least intrusive tool for Congress to respond to executive overreach."
Of course, the problem with Obamacare, as we learned during the 2013 government shutdown, is that the law is funded even if Congress fails to pass a new spending bill. Congressional Republicans may not have the power to stop the president from rewriting parts of Obamacare. But with a little more than two years until another presidential election, they may take comfort in the precedent that if a Democratic president has the authority to suspend significant parts of Obamacare, so would a Republican president.
Needs a Writ of Mandamus in there somewhere.
How about articles of impeachment you twit.
The leadership of the cave party, formally the republican party, do not have the ba**s.
I know of four little 1st grade girls who do have more ba**s than them who will do a better job.
Actually, this doesn’t seem all that complex to me. There are many employees of these small businesses who now will not have health insurance from their employer as promised by the law, because Obama has let their employer off the hook in terms of meeting the mandate’s requirements for another year. There will certainly be a large subset of those affected employees who can show that their personal health care expenditures would be far lower under a plan provided by their employer (as required by the law) than under an exchange plan that they pay for out of their own pocket, even with subsidies. Every one of those employees has standing to sue.
In other words, in helping businesses to avoid the employer mandate, Obama is hurting the workers who the mandate was supposed to help.
A stab to the heart of the matter: Bravo!
>> This is consumer fraud ...
And it was forced on the Country and abruptly reeked havoc on many financially and health-wise.
Impeached? He could behead a troop of girl scouts on the White House lawn during the Easter Egg roll, butcher them, barbecue them and serve them to all the participants and he still wouldnt be impeached. And if you criticized him about it, the press would say its a black thing and accuse you of being a racist tea bagging rethuglican for bringing it up while licking their fingers and asking Michelle what kind of awesome spice rub theyre using and beg for more of that delicious macaroni & cheese and a refill of their Kool-aid.
why ? Obama owns the Judges
Standing is with every taxpayer that will have to bail out this manadate which effecively breaks the economic intent (however flawed) of the law. I think any additional costs to the taxpayer or increase to the deficit should be sufficient standing. the court could provide the remedy it failed to do the first time it looked at the ACA and declare it unenforceable and dishonest.
Constitutionally only the congress has the legal right to modify the law or to repeal it. Which one do you think I support?
You’re right of course. The gutless bastards.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Mike Lee has essentially just said that a lawless president (and I use that term loosely) can be as lawless as he wants, because nobody has “standing” to stop him.
We already know nobody had the b-—s to stop him, but “standing”? Seriously?
The US Constitution provides the remedy. Unfortunately there is no way the Senate would remove him from office with RATs in the majority. I also suppose there is now way the House would impeach him, given the majority of the majority lacks the testicular fortitude to do so.
Just have the House Sergeant of Arms hand deliver a House Subpoena to B. Hussein Obama to appear before the full House to answer questions about his apparent Dereliction of Duty as Commander in Chief before, during and after the 2012 Benghazi Murders.
If B. Hussein Obama does not appear within the 24 hour time limit specified in the House Subpoena, then the Speaker of the House shall appoint a House Special Counsel with binding Subpoena powers to investigate the following scandals:
*and rewriting Federal Law by Obama, Holder, and others to be named later.
Very good paint. The employees who by law are supposed to have employer-provided coverage should have legal standing to sue.
No, see my comment above. The people who have standing are the employees of small businesses who are not receiving employer-provided health coverage because their employer has been excused from their responsibilities under the mandate. The courts do not give standing to someone who cannot show that they have already been harmed by an action, so it wouldn’t be sufficient to just go to the court and say “well I’m a taxpayer and we are going to have to bail this out.”
It is my understanding that Employers may lay off people but not attribute it to the costs of Zerocare? I thought that is what Rush said today but I was busy and listening with half an ear!
Wait long enough and the taxpayer will have standing too.
Courts are always absolutely sure that no one has standing.
They never, ever, however, explain who DOES have standing.
Har har, it’s a secret, yuck yuck yuck.
It’s called FU, America.