News

John Boehner says he’s suing the President

John Boehner says he’s suing the President

LAWSUIT:John Boehner (left) said the suit from the House of Representatives was aimed at protecting the rights of Congress under the constitution and said Obama was ignoring the laws that it passes. Photo: Associated Press

By David Lawder and David Ingram

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday he plans to sue President Barack Obama, accusing him of abusing his authority by going around Congress to implement his policy agenda.

The suit, to be filed by the House of Representatives later this summer, takes issue with executive actions Obama has taken on issues ranging from healthcare to energy to foreign policy, Boehner said. But he declined to be specific about which administration actions he would challenge.

“The Constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the law. In my view, the president has not faithfully executed the law,” Boehner told reporters.

In a memo to Republican lawmakers, the speaker said Obama’s actions risked giving the president a “king-like authority” at the expense of U.S. voters and Congress.

Obama has increasingly used executive orders this year to advance his agenda in the face of a gridlocked Congress. He raised the minimum wage for federal contractors and stopped the deportation of young people brought to the United States illegally by their parents. Obama also recently extended family leave rights nationwide to workers in same-sex marriages, and barred contractors from discriminating against gay employees.

Boehner’s memo said he will bring legislation to a floor vote in July authorizing the House general counsel to file the suit. The case would take months to work its way through the courts, but it would give Republicans new fodder to try to sway voters in the November congressional elections.

“I think Speaker Boehner is being a very effective advertisement for the Republican Party,” said John Hudak, a governance studies fellow at the Brookings Institution. “He’s playing to his base.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama had “solid legal rationale” for his actions and added Congress should work with the administration instead of taking it to court.

“The fact that they are considering a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the president of the United States for doing his job, I think is the kind of step that most Americans wouldn’t support,” Earnest said.

Legal experts said U.S. courts are generally reluctant to wade into what they perceive as political fights between Congress and the White House.

Stanley Brand, who served as the House’s general counsel under the late Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill, said a narrowly focused suit has a better chance of success, particularly when it comes to Supreme Court review.

A suit as broad as the one envisioned by Boehner would face skepticism from judges, Brand said.

“They’re not referees of political disputes, they’re arbiters of concrete action,” he said. “The courts are not going to supervise a president that way. I don’t want to say it’s harebrained, but it’s close to it.”

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, David Ingram and Jeff Mason, writing by David Lawder; Editing by Caren Bohan and xxxxx)

Latest Headlines

15 hours ago in Music

Dave Mustaine planning benefit for Nick Menza’s family

mustaine

The rocker is planning a Megadeth supergroup concert to honor his former bandmate.

17 hours ago in Viral Videos

Bernie and Hillary walk into a bar

11-overlay-11

The Democratic presidential candidates reminisce about their time running against each other in the primary.

20 hours ago in Sports

Tom Brady to appeal ‘Deflatgate’ suspension again

tombrady16144430286517

Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension by the NFL, seeking a second hearing before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court.

21 hours ago in Music

Would you wear Rolling Stones swim trunks?

rollingstonesREUTERS

The veteran rockers have teamed up with a fashion company to roll out a collection of men's swimwear.

23 hours ago in Sports

MLS hopes to bridge ‘cultural void’

pirloREUTERS

Pro soccer in the United States has come far, but more needs to be done at the youth level to develop a "culture" that brings the sport on a par with Europe.