The Corner

Senator Ron Johnson Appealing Decision that Dismissed His Lawsuit Against President Obama

Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said he will file an appeal today regarding his lawsuit against the president that a judge dismissed last month because of Johnson’s lack of standing. Johnson’s lawsuit challenges the president’s effort to force lawmakers and their staff off of the federal employee health benefit plan and into the new Obamacare exchanges.

Writing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Johnson noted that his suit was thrown out because of a lack of standing, and asked, “If a member of Congress does not have standing in this case, who does?” Johnson questioned the court’s ability to deny him standing, saying that it threatened the rule of law if the legislative branch cannot use the courts to force the president to execute the laws. “After all, it affected my health insurance, required me to take action to designate my staff and provided special treatment that drove a wedge between me and my constituents,” Johnson wrote. “It denied me — as a member of Congress and employer of staff — the legal status that Congress thought essential for each of its members and those who work for them.”

In his dismissal of Johnson’s lawsuit, District Court Judge William Griesbach wrote that, “In sum, the fact that the allegations advanced in this action might be difficult or even impossible to pursue in federal court for any other plaintiffs does not mean that these Plaintiffs have suffered the kind of injury that could give rise to standing.” And not everyone who agrees with Johnson’s larger point about President Obama’s lawlessness agrees with Johnson’s method. Writing in NRO earlier this year, Andy McCarthy argued that Johnson’s lawsuit is “frivolous.” “It is no more constitutionally proper or practical for a legislator to sue the president over a public-policy dispute than for the president to violate valid laws,” McCarthy wrote. Even if a court granted Johnson standing, McCarthy said, the court would need to direct the president to enforce its ruling against the president. McCarthy said he did not see much chance of this happening, and Obama complying, given Obama’s status as an “equal opportunity outlaw” who undermines both the courts and the law.  

Despite such criticisms, Johnson seems undeterred and intent on pursuing legal action against the president. He wrote that he found hope in the words of Griesbach’s dismissal of his lawsuit, because he believes Griesbach recognized the gravity of his allegations. Johnson said he thinks his case continues to be a landmark opportunity to address the “constitutional tipping point” at which the country has found itself, and plans to exhaust every legal resource possible.  

Most Popular

Film & TV

Joker: An Honest Treatment of Madness

When I saw that the New York Times and The New Yorker had run columns berating the new Joker movie, criticizing it not simply on cinematic grounds but instead insisting that the film amounted to a clandestine defense of “whiteness” in an attempt to buttress the electoral aim of “Republicans” — this is a ... Read More

The Democrats’ Disastrous CNN LGBT Town Hall

A few days after Donald Trump committed the worst foreign-policy blunder of his presidency by betraying America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, former vice president Joe Biden, the elder statesman and co-frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, was on a national stage talking to CNN’s primetime ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More
Film & TV

The Breaking Bad Movie

I considered staying up until midnight last night to watch Netflix's two-hour Breaking Bad movie El Camino as soon as it went up, but I'm glad I didn't. It's fine, it's worth watching if you're a fan of the series (otherwise it'll mean nothing to you). But it doesn't answer any particularly compelling questions. ... Read More