George Washington University prof. becomes lead attorney in GOP’s lawsuit against Obama
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley accepted a position last Monday that is sure to land his name in the textbooks of future law students.
Turley, a leading constitutional lawyer and frequent guest on MSNBC, will represent the U.S. House of Representatives in its lawsuit against the Obama administration’s executive-level decisions to delay and modify portions of Obamacare.
“It is an honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office."
In late July, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) introduced a vote among his congressional colleagues to authorize a legal challenge of the president’s unilateral delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate, among other complaints.
Turley is the third legal counsel hired by Speaker Boehner to represent the House; two previous attorneys terminated their contracts.
“It is an honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office,” Turley wrote Monday on his blog.
In 2012, Turley penned a piece for the Washington Post identifying 10 reasons “why the U.S. is no longer the land of the free.” He criticized the president and the administration for invasive government programs such as the monitoring of citizens “without securing any court order or review” and for protecting companies from judicial review that “assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens.”
“Professor Turley is a renowned legal scholar who agrees that President Obama has clearly overstepped his Constitutional authority. He is a natural choice to handle this lawsuit,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Speaker Boehner.
While acknowledging his support for universal healthcare coverage and decision to vote for Obama in 2008, Turley says the House’s lawsuit “has more to do with constitutional law than health care law.”
“Without judicial review of unconstitutional actions by the Executive, the trend toward a dominant presidential model of government will continue in this country in direct conflict with the original design and guarantees of our Constitution,” Turley wrote, adding that “our constitutional system as a whole would benefit greatly by courts reinforcing the lines of separation between the respective branches.”
In 2011, Turley sued the president for violating the War Powers Act by failing to obtain congressional authorization before sending U.S. troops into Libya, but a federal judge eventually dismissed the suit.
This time around, however, Turley plans to move ahead with full force.
House Republicans filed their lawsuit Friday, less than 24 hours after President Obama delivered his plan for executive action on immigration. The lawsuit was filed against Health and Human Services Secretary Sylva Burwell for deferring Obamacare's employee mandate. The Treasury Department secretary is also named in the suit.
According to the New York Times, “the suit also challenges what it says is President Obama’s unlawful giveaway of roughly $175 billion to insurance companies under the law.”
“We are prepared to litigate this matter as far as necessary,” Turley wrote.
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