Loving The Law: Boehner v Obama | Alyssa J Cori: Loving The Law: Boehner v Obama

August 2, 2014

Loving The Law: Boehner v Obama

By now I am sure that you have heard of the Boehner v Obama case (which will most likely end up being Boehner v Sylvia Matthews Burwell, who is the Health and Human Services Secretary. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen may also be named a co-defendant) but if not, get excited for the break down I'm about to give you!

So this past Wednesday the House of Representatives voted to allow the Republican Speaker John Boehner to bring a suit against the Obama administration. Boehner is claiming that the White House went beyond its executive powers to delay an enforcement of the Affordable Care Act which requires employers to offer health coverage or pay a penalty.

Now, although Boehner has approval to pursue the case from the House, he still needs the legal right (or standing) to bring the suit. A court may not want to hear the case because there is so much controversy surrounding it. If the court does not believe it will be able to clearly define executive power in this case, it is even less likely to hear it. Boehner's case must also show that the legislative branch as a whole, not just the House, believes it has been injured by the executive branch's actions.

The potential outcome of this case is more symbolic than anything else because it will not result in a fine or something of the sort. Rather, a precedent more clearly defining executive power can be set. Word on the street is that the case will not be brought for at least a month and it has not been made known in which federal court it will be filed. Obama and the Democrats really aren't too worried about the suit but one wonders if they ought to be...

What's your take? Should the Democrats recognize this as more than a political play?

-Alyssa J Freitas

P. S. I got a ton of information about the case from The Wall Street Journal Law Blog. I'm a faithful reader! The title inspiration came from an elective at my grammar school (now we're REALLY going back in time) St. Catherine of Siena in Cedar Grove.


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