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September 1, 2014

Editorial: A political fight in the courts

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Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 10:15 pm

A theory — and just a theory — for how the lawsuit House Speaker John Boehner is threatening to file against President Barack Obama might work out in court.

The bailiff clears his throat and announces, “All persons having business before the court please rise and state your case.”

A buttoned-down attorney stands and looks squarely at the judge. “Your honor, my clients, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner and his congressional Republican colleagues, accuse Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th president of the United States, of violating the Constitution.”

The judge glances over the papers before him and asks, “And what evidence do the plaintiffs offer?”

“Your honor,” the lawyer begins, “President Obama has consistently gone beyond the bounds of his constitutionally mandated authority. Take the president’s executive orders pertaining to the health-care law, for example ...”

The judge cut off the attorney. “I take it that Speaker Boehner is prepared to demonstrate how he and the institution he leads was damaged by these allegations.”

“Judge,” the lawyer said, “clearly all Americans, including Mr. Boehner, have been injured by this president’s extra-constitutional acts.”

“While that’s touching, counselor, the law and court precedent requires more than campaign slogans,” the judge says before adding, “I find it noteworthy that your client is the same politician who has made much political hay out of calling for tort reform and tossing out complaints of judicial activism over every court ruling that he didn’t like.

“Yet, now,” the judge continued, “he brings a paper-thin lawsuit before this court, essentially asking a judge to referee what boils down to nothing more than a political fight. And those — political fights in general and this one specifically — are neither new, nor are they original or worth this court’s time. The nation’s history is littered with disagreements such as the one within this lawsuit.

“Further, the founders made a provision for the legislative branch to try the president, through impeachment.”

“Of course,” the judge said before banging his gavel and dismissing the case as frivolous, “I’m probably just another ‘activist judge’ in Mr. Boehner’s eyes.”

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