GOP Resolution Calls Obama's Mandate Delay Unconstitutional

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 12:10 PM

By Dan Weil

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Republican Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey has introduced a resolution accusing President Barack Obama of violating the Constitution by postponing the Affordable Care Act's employer health-insurance mandate.

Specifically, Obama violated Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, which states that the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed," the resolution says, according to The Hill.

The employer mandate requires all companies with more than 50 workers to offer them health insurance or pay a fine. The Obamacare law called for the mandate to begin on Jan. 1, 2014, but the administration last week delayed implementation until 2015.

Some Republicans may be happy to see Obamacare eviscerated by the delay but Garrett says the constitutional issue is paramount.

"Our government depends upon the rule of law," he said Wednesday, The Hill reports.

"President Obama is in violation of Section 3 of Article II of the Constitution by refusing to enforce the employer mandate provisions of Obamacare. The executive branch, which has no constitutional authority to write or rewrite law at whim, has usurped the exclusive legislative power of Congress," Garrett said.

The resolution also cites Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution, which states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States."

Laws passed by Congress aren't optional for the president to enforce, the resolution says.

"The executive branch's unilateral decision to delay the implementation of a law sets a dangerous precedent under which legislation that is enacted through the passage of that legislation by the democratically elected members of Congress and the signing of that legislation into law by the president will no longer have the force of law and will instead be relegated to having the status of a mere recommendation, which the president may choose to ignore," the resolution reads.

Former U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Michael McConnell, now director of Stanford Law School's Constitutional Law Center, also argues that Obama's mandate delay violates Article II, Section 3.

The decision "may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his [Obama's] understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government," he wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

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