John Boehner has hired Jonathan Turley a lawyer for House Republicans
Turley is the third firm to represent the GOP case to sue Obama over his health care law
House Republicans are hoping the third time is a charm in their effort to sue President Barack Obama over his signature health care law.
After two Washington law firms backed out of earlier commitments to represent House Republicans in their legal challenge, House Speaker John Boehner hired Jonathan Turley on Tuesday. Turley is a George Washington professor who is an expert on constitutional law and well known to cable TV viewers as a legal analyst.
“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,” Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel said in a written statement.
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House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the move to continue the legal effort and referred to Turley as “a TV lawyer” in a press conference Tuesday. Pelosi has criticized Boehner’s office for using taxpayer funds to pay for the litigation. The Democratic Leader told reporters she hoped the latest announcement on the lawsuit was in response to internal Republican politics, and that the legal fight wasn’t a sign that GOP leaders aren’t interested in working across the aisle.
The House voted mostly along party lines in July to approve a lawsuit against the President for unilaterally making changes to Obamacare. Although many Republicans backed the delays the administration approved last year, they maintained it was Congress’ job to change the law. But House Republicans have had trouble retaining a firm because of the political blowback on the issue.
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The House’s Office of General Counsel will represent the House in court, but the resolution that passed this summer gives the Speaker the authority to hire outside lawyers to finalize the legal strategy and file a formal complaint. Some are suggesting the GOP case be broadened to respond to any executive action the President takes on immigration.
Beyond the political concerns, many constitutional experts have raised doubts that federal courts will take up the Obamacare case pushed by the GOP-controlled House. The legal burden will be on the House to demonstrate it was damaged as an institution by the President’s actions.
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The Supreme Court may rule on the controversial health care law before the House case makes its way through the system. Earlier this month the high court announced it would consider a challenge to the law that on the tax credits that many Americans use to subsidize health plans they purchase on the federal health exchange.