It’s been months since John Boehner said he was going to sue President Obama over his use of the powers afforded him by his office. While suing the President for being President over his utilization of executive orders may seem asinine, right-wingers have been salivating over the idea and rallying behind House Republicans who have been pushing for the lawsuit.
President Obama challenged them to make good on their threat, calling the bluff — and it seems they were, indeed, bluffing. “As long as they insist on taking no action whatsoever that will help anybody, I’m going to keep on taking actions on my own that can help the middle class, like the actions I’ve already taken to speed up construction projects and attract new manufacturing jobs and lift workers’ wages and help students pay off their student loans,” Obama said in June.“Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me. As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.”
With all the rhetoric spewed by the Right regarding this, one might assume they would hurriedly file in an attempt to deal with this tyrannical threat to all that is good, pure, and white…err, right. To date, Republicans have not made the ten minute walk from the Capitol to the federal courthouse to file.
Politico reports that:
Lawyers close to the process said they originally expected the legal challenge to be filed in September but now they don’t expect any action before the elections.
Some attribute the delay to electoral politics — suggesting that Republicans were worried it could rile up the Democratic base — though the GOP is mum on why the suit has yet to be filed.
Whatever the reason, the delay means the core of the suit could effectively be moot before the Obama administration even has to respond to it in court. The case was expected to center on an employer mandate provision that Obama twice delayed but is now set to kick in for many employers on Jan. 1.
“I thought this was a constitutional crisis and the republic was in jeopardy because Obama overstepped his bounds. Now, they can’t even get around to filing it?” asked former House Counsel Stan Brand, “It, to me, emphasizes the not-serious nature of it.”
A spokesman for Boehner said that, despite the purported urgency of the suit, the filing date remains undecided. “No decisions on timing at this point,” said spokesman Kevin Smith on Friday.
Some conservatives say that the lawsuit’s postponement until after the election is important because, though it has been used in an attempt to gain political support prior to the elections, a delay somehow proves it’s not entirely about partisan politics.
“After the election, it ought to garner more serious commentary, evaluation and judicial review,” said Todd Gaziano of the Pacific Legal Foundation. “It can have some very helpful consequences for a principle that I think liberals and conservatives should both be concerned about, and that is the president’s unilateral authority to rewrite a statute in dozens of ways.”
Democratic consultant David DiMartino said that he thinks “it goes beyond the Democratic base in terms of the Americans who thought this was beyond the pale” Republicans “are really good at finding really efficient ways to alienate huge swaths of the American public and this is one of those issues.”
DiMartino suspects the lawsuit talk was a means of dampening the impeachment talk prior to the election. and predicts backlash from his party over the delay.
“Boehner promised the right wing of his party red meat with this thing and he ended up serving them cauliflower,” he said.