Republicans are throwing a fit over President Obama saying he’ll take some vague and unspecified unilateral action to address vague and unspecified problems and Michele Bachmann says that the House of Representatives may try to take him to court over it. Yeah, good luck with that.
In reality, the only actual executive order to come out of the State of the Union speech was the one pertaining to the minimum wage on government contracts, which clearly falls within his executive authority. But cue the freakout anyway.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann says House conservatives are preparing to sue President Barack Obama for executive overreach in response to his threats of unilateral action on a host of issues.
“He’s the president of the United States — he’s not a king,” the Republican lawmaker told reporters after Obama’s State of the Union address. “He may think he’s a king, he may declare himself king, but that’s not what he is under our Constitution.”
Bachmann said an effort is underway in Congress to take back their “authority under the Constitution as the House of Representatives.” She said the plan is to introduce legislation allowing lawmakers to hire an attorney, so “we can force the president to act under the Constitution.”
And maybe if Bachmann had gotten a law degree from a real law school, she would know that this is almost certainly doomed to failure. Congress almost never has standing to sue the president. The controlling precedent is Raines v. Byrd. The courts are very reluctant to get involved in disputes between the other two branches of government and for good reason. Ten members of Congress tried to sue Obama over his bombing of Libya three years ago but the case was dismissed on standing grounds, which is how this one would end as well.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: