Hey did you hear the one about how Speaker Boehner, unwilling to draft articles of impeachment for lack of anything to impeach President Obama over, decided to assuage the hardliners in his party by filing a lawsuit?
All these months later, some might have forgotten, as the Speaker has been unable to actually manage to figure out how to actually build a complaint that won’t be thrown out of court. Indeed, did you hear the one about how the law firm the House hired backed out last month, citing political pressure, which, in the end amounted to the damage the firm would do to its reputation by attempting such a ridiculous stunt?
It is time for an update, and that comes from Josh Gerstein and Maggie Haberman of Politico:
House Speaker John Boehner’s still-unfiled lawsuit against President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional power is in more trouble.
For the second time in two months, a major law firm has ceased work on the lawsuit, sources say.
Attorney Bill Burck and the Quinn Emanuel firm halted preparations for the proposed suit in recent weeks, according to two sources familiar with the situation. Last month, the lawyer originally hired to pursue the case, David Rivkin of Baker Hostetler, made a similar abrupt exit.
A spokesman for Boehner declined to discuss the status of the House’s relationship with Burck and Quinn Emanuel. However, spokesman Kevin Smith said Wednesday evening that House leaders are considering having the lawsuit filed by lawyers already on the House payroll.
Believe it or not, this sort of comedy isn’t the only punch line offered us by Team Speaker:
Boehner’s office also suggested the suit, which planned to challenge Obama’s failure to implement aspects of his health care reform law, could be broadened if Obama goes forward, as promised, with plans for executive action on immigration.
That last bit is especially important for context: The lawsuit “could be broadened if Obama goes forward, as promised, with plans for executive action on immigration”.
Flashback, July. Via Speaker Boehner’s Press Office:
This situation shows the intense concern within our conference – and among the American people – about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws. There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries. For the past month, the House has been engaged in intensive efforts to pass legislation that would compel the president to do his job and ensure it can be done as quickly and compassionately as possible. Through an inclusive process, a border bill was built by listening to members and the American people that has the support not just of a majority of the majority in the House, but most of the House Republican Conference. We will continue to work on solutions to the border crisis and other challenges facing our country.
How about “hypocridiocy”?
In July, the Speaker calls for President Obama to use his executive authority to address immigration. In October, the Speaker threatens to sue the president if he does.
It does no use to wonder how that is supposed to actually work. The truth is that it isn’t supposed to work. This whole lawsuit business is just fearmongering and fundraising.
And it would seem the lawyers hired to craft the suit are figuring that out.
Gerstein, Josh and Maggie Haberman. “More turmoil for House GOP lawsuit against Obama”. Politico. 29 October 2014.
Speaker Boehner’s Press Office. “Statement by House GOP Leaders on Border Bill”. Office of the Speaker of the House. 31 July 2014.