Ron Christie: Boehner's Lawsuit More Than a Political Stunt

Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 10:08 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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House Speaker John Boehner's plan to sue President Barack Obama is more than a political stunt, Republican political strategist Ron Christie wrote in a commentary in The Daily Beast.

"Boehner and company have a real, substantive case against the president," Christie wrote.

Obama has written 182 orders while former President George W. Bush issued 291, according to the strategist. "But the real issue, of course, is not the number of executive orders issued during one’s presidency but rather their legality," Christie said.

"Obama has issued at least 32 legislative fixes to the Affordable Care Act, softened laws against illegal immigration, and stripped the work requirement from President [Bill] Clinton’s welfare reform—all with the stroke of his pen," Christie said. In addition, Obama in 2012 declared the Senate in recess so he could install three nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled Obama's recess appointments were invalid, and on the same day, the president "flippantly" dismissed Boehner's lawsuit, saying "just sue me" when asked about the issue, said Christie.

David Rivkin and Professor Elizabeth Price Foley, the legal minds behind the lawsuit idea, say it has precedent from a case brought by Colorado legislators who challenged the a state constitutional amendment in federal court, according to Christie. The duo also point to a 1977 Supreme Court decision concerning a legislative action that goes into effect even though legislators had enough votes to defeat it, Christie said.

"Memo to White House Counsel’s Office: Boehner and his colleagues in the House can easily argue that the president’s unilateral rewrite of sections of the Affordable Care Act has essentially nullified the votes cast in the House of Representatives to pass the bill," Christie wrote.

"If Obama can act lawlessly and bypass Congress now, the precedent has been set for a Republican president to do the same in future years," said Christie.

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