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House Republicans Will Have Their Day in Court: Challenge to ACA Will Be Heard

Laura Joszt
House Republicans won a minor victory in a new lawsuit against the Obama administration for the legality of spending money from the Treasury for health insurers under the Affordable Care Act. Arguments will be heard this fall.
The president’s Affordable Care Act may have overcome a huge hurdle when the Supreme Court ruled that individuals living in states on the federally facilitated marketplace were eligible for financial assistance to purchase health insurance, but the Republican Party won a victory in a new lawsuit against President Obama.

US District Judge Rosemary Collyer, appointed by President George W. Bush, ruled that House Republicans have the legal standing to sue. Their lawsuit claims the Obama administration spent money from the Treasury for health insurers under the Affordable Care Act without the assent of the House of Representatives.

“I am grateful to the Court for ruling that this historic overreach can be challenged by the coequal branch of government with the sole power to create or change the law,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), said in a statement. “The House will continue our effort to ensure the separation of powers in our democratic system remains clear, as the Framers intended.”

The Obama administration attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed on the argument that this was a political issue, and not a legal one.

“Neither the President nor his officers can authorize appropriations; the assent of the House of Representatives is required before any public monies are spent,” Collyer wrote in her decision. “Congress’s power of the purse is the ultimate check on the otherwise unbounded power of the Executive.”

This ruling is just the beginning on a long road. This ruling only related to the question of whether or not the House could even bring this lawsuit. Collyer will hear arguments this fall on whether the administration’s actions actually violated the Constitution, reported LA Times. If she rules in favor of the House, the president’s lawyers would appeal, and the case could move on to the Supreme Court. However, a ruling from the Supreme Court likely will not come until after Obama leaves office.

“I cannot overstate how big a victory this is for limited government and our first principles,” Boehner said in a press conference. “Time and again, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and to re-write laws on his own without a vote of the Congress.”

 
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