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
"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.
[to top of second column]
"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,"
Legal experts said U.S. courts are generally reluctant to wade into
what they perceive as political fights between Congress and the
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.
"Theyíre not referees of political disputes, theyíre arbiters of
concrete action," he said. "The courts are not going to supervise a
president that way. I donít want to say itís harebrained, but itís
close to it."
(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, David Ingram and Jeff
Mason, writing by David Lawder; Editing by Caren Bohan)
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