On Wednesday, Federal District Judge Rosemary Collyer gave House Republicans hope that their fight against Obamacare is not over. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has been pursuing a lawsuit against the president’s health care legislation, one that would hold his administration accountable for spending “billions of unappropriated dollars” that were never approved by Congress. The judge allowed this claim to go forward, offering the following explanation:
“The only issue before the Court is whether the House can sue the Secretaries; the merits of this lawsuit await another day. Although no precedent dictates the outcome, the case implicates the constitutionality of another Branch’s actions and thus merits an ‘especially rigorous’ standing analysis. Ariz. State Legislature v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm’n, 135 S. Ct. 2652, 2665 n. 12 (2015). The House sues, as an institutional plaintiff, to preserve its power of the purse and to maintain constitutional equilibrium between the Executive and the Legislature. If its non-appropriation claims have merit, which the Secretaries deny, the House has been injured in a concrete and particular way that is traceable to the Secretaries and remediable in court. The Court concludes that the House has standing to pursue those constitutional claims,” Collyer wrote.
Not all of Boehner’s claims were met, however:
Collyer rejected the second piece of the GOP’s lawsuit, in which Boehner contested the Department of the Treasury’s decision to waive a requirement for employers to provide health insurance without consulting Congress.
The House’s claims “concern only the implementation of a statute, not adherence to any specific constitutional requirement,” Collyers wrote in dismissing the claim.
The Obama administration bitterly dismissed the lawsuit:
"This case is just another partisan attack, and we believe that ultimately the courts will dismiss it for what it is — an inappropriate attempt to involve the judiciary in disputes between the other branches," she wrote.
The GOP has faced several setbacks in its effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Their latest defeat came in June, when the Supreme Court upheld the law’s federal health care subsidies.
Despite these endless hurdles, Republicans, including several presidential candidates, have insisted they’re not giving up in their goal to dismantle the federal mandate.