Late yesterday, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, asking the court to halt Obama’s “unlawful executive actions which alter and revise the Affordable Care Act by creating a so-called ‘transitional policy’ that allows by executive fiat certain insurers and insured to maintain non-compliant health care plans contrary to the clear and unambiguous terms of the Act.”
The lawsuit, which is captioned American Freedom Law Center v. Obama, alleges that Obama has violated his constitutional duty to “faithfully execute” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)—his signature piece of legislation which was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010—in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers.
Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented:
“The lawlessness of this administration is breathtaking and dangerous, and in response to Obama’s flippant challenge of ‘So sue me,’ we’ve done just that. Our lawsuit is all the more critical because Congress has simply abdicated its political responsibilities to stop this run-away train. Indeed, as the Supreme Court stated just this last term, ‘it is the duty of the judicial department in a separation-of-powers case as in any other to say what the law is.’ Here, the law is clear: the Constitution’s division of power among the three branches is violated when Obama’s executive branch brazenly invades the territory of Congress by rewriting legislation because it is politically unpopular.”
In 2013, millions of Americans received notices that their health insurance was cancelled, a result that was predictable in light of the mandates imposed by the Affordable Care Act. This caused a political firestorm for the White House because Obama had promised the American people that if “you like your health care plan, you can keep it”—a promise that was contrary to the clear and unambiguous language of the Act. In fact, the Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact.com declared President Obama’s promise to be the “lie of the year” for 2013.
Consequently, as a politically expedient measure, President Obama engaged in a series of executive actions that materially altered the Affordable Care Act without approval from Congress.
In its motion seeking to halt Obama’s unlawful executive orders, AFLC relies in part on Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, a cased decided by the U.S. Supreme Court this past term in which the Court held that the President’s “power of executing the laws . . . does not include a power to revise clear statutory terms that turn out not to work in practice.” As AFLC points out, that is precisely what has happened in this case.
David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented:
“Make no mistake, there are many serious problems with Obamacare—problems that are festering like deep wounds, and Obama knows it. Consequently, one of the primary purposes of his unlawful executive orders is to place temporary band aids on these deadly wounds to keep Obamacare alive politically through the upcoming midterm elections and through the 2016 presidential election. Our lawsuit is designed to remove those temporary band aids, expose the wounds, and ultimately kill Obamacare. And make no mistake about it: we fully anticipate this lawsuit to establish precedent not only for this President, but for every big-government-is-the-solution President in the future.”