For some time now, The Daily Banter has been covering a new phenomenon in American government and, specifically, the legislative branch. Instead of operating via its traditional, constitutionally enumerated mechanisms, the congressional Republicans have unleashed a new method of checks and balances against the executive branch: the frivolous lawsuit.
As we've reported here, some legislators such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) have sued the administration over the Affordable Care Act and NSA surveillance operations. Likewise, following this year's State of the Union address, rumors began to circulate of another Republican lawsuit to stop Dictator Obama from issuing executive orders that raised the minimum wage or adjusted Obamacare rules.
Well now it looks like the GOP is ready to make good on its threat. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) appears to be moving forward with a lawsuit intended to thwart the president's ability to sign executive orders, as if Obama invented the idea or has abused the system more than previous chief executives. Roll Call reported:
The lawsuit could set up a significant test of constitutional checks and balances, with the legislative branch suing the executive branch for ignoring its mandates, and the judiciary branch deciding the outcome.
Boehner told the House Republican Conference during a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning that he has been consulting with legal scholars and plans to unveil his next steps this week or next, according to sources in the room.
Not only has the GOP overstepped its mandate to pass legislation, declare war, advise and consent on nominees and to conduct hearings/investigations, but this new extraconstitutional power will set a terrible precedent which will surely blow back against Future Republican President X. But they don't really care, since, in this midterm year, their goal is to score as many points with the base as possible -- precedent and blowback be damned. So the "tort reform" party is embracing the frivolous lawsuit. Another Republican "value" bites the dust.
And what about those executive orders? Let's review.
As of January, 2014, President Obama has only signed 168 executive orders so far. This compares to 291 executive orders signed by the previous president. In fact, George W. Bush signed more orders in his first four years, 173, than President Obama has signed in just over five.
Other than one-term President George H.W. Bush, the last president to sign fewer executive orders than Obama was Grover Cleveland during his second non-consecutive term. Cleveland! 120 years ago! Now let's say Obama signs 100 more, then the only presidents since Cleveland who signed fewer orders were the one-or-fewer-term presidents H.W. Bush, Ford, Kennedy and McKinley. Boehner and the Republicans don't want their derangement syndrome suffering voters to know that by the time Obama leaves office he will have likely signed the fewest executive orders of any two-term president in the history of the United States.
But this still requires a lawsuit. The good news is they'll lose. We can only hope that whichever judge has to waste his or her time with this bullshit dismisses the suit while publicly shaming Boehner and his pathetic caucus.