Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Obamacare | lawsuit

Report: Democrat Bigwigs Pressed Lawyers to Back Off Obamacare Suit

By    |   Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 01:33 PM

House Republicans are blaming wealthy Democrat clients for pressuring private attorneys to drop out of a lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of unconstitutional delays in enforcing a key element of the federal healthcare law.

The giant, international law firm of Quinn Emanuel and William A. Burck, co-director of its Washington, D.C. office, have halted preparations for a lawsuit against Obama for issuing an executive order to delay the law’s controversial employer mandate, Politico reported this week.

Quinn Emanuel is the second legal team to stop representing House Republicans. David B. Rivkin Jr., a Washington partner of the BakerHostetler law firm, dropped out of the case last month. He was the lawyer originally hired to litigate the lawsuit, which is not yet filed in court.

In both developments, Republicans blamed high-powered clients with Democrat Party connections for pressuring the firms to back off the case.

House Speaker John Boehner, who called for the lawsuit in June, is considering turning to lawyers already retained by the House.

"The litigation remains on track, but we are examining the possibility of foregoing outside counsel and handling the litigation directly through the House, rather than through law firms that are susceptible to political pressure from wealthy, Democratic-leaning clients," Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith told Politico.

Smith added that Boehner could seek to expand the lawsuit if Obama issues an executive order to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, an action widely expected after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

"We are also closely following what the administration does on executive amnesty, and the possible impact that could have on the litigation strategy," Smith said.

Burck, a former deputy counsel to President George W. Bush and an ex-New York City prosecutor, told Politico that the contract his firm signed with the House Republicans prevents him from commenting on whether he has withdrawn from the litigation.

However, some of his firm’s clients pressured Burck to back off the case, Politico reported, quoting two sources familiar with the decision. Rivkin and his firm withdrew in September after some of their wealthy clients objected to them representing the House Republicans.

House Democrats have been complaining that the Republicans are wasting taxpayers’ money by hiring lawyers who charge up to $500 an hour.

"The American people are fed up that their hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being used to solve John Boehner’s political problem," said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "In the words of one legal scholar, this lawsuit continues to be an embarrassing loser for Speaker Boehner."

Boehner insists that the case is about the Constitution, not politics. He accuses Obama of violating his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress.

"We're not going to sit idly by while this president chips away at the very foundation of our democracy," the Ohio Republican wrote in a July 12 column.

"This isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats; it’s about protecting the Constitution. And when I heard the president respond to our plan with a lighthearted, ‘So sue me,’ – I was extremely disappointed.

"This is no joke, Mr. President.  The American people are frustrated."

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House Republicans are blaming wealthy Democrat clients for pressuring private attorneys to drop out of a lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of unconstitutional delays in enforcing a key element of the federal healthcare law.
Obamacare, lawsuit
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2014-33-30
Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 01:33 PM
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