Target: United States Speaker of the House John Boehner
Goal: Urge the Speaker to abandon plans to sue President Barack Obama for exercising constitutionally-granted presidential powers
A battle is shaping up over the use of presidential power in America. Speaker of the House John Boehner recently announced that he will sue President Obama for having “circumvented the Congress through executive action.” Nowhere in the Speaker’s document is there a specific example of presidential overreach, according to The Rachel Maddow Show. It is not immediately clear what the Speaker intends his lawsuit to accomplish.
Since the first days of the U.S. presidency the nation’s leaders have been able to issue executive orders. These orders do not have to be ratified by Congress, but they are also not as powerful as laws passed by Congress. President Obama has so far issued fewer executive orders than any president since the early 20th century, according to the Brookings Institute. If the president were to overstep his constitutional bounds a lawsuit would be an effective way to reel him back in; however, as Speaker Boehner will not say which orders he is specifically challenging the validity of, his legal action does not appear to address a clearly unconstitutional move.
It is pointless for the Speaker to sue the president on behalf of the House over unidentified actions. Such a lawsuit would be a waste of time and taxpayer money, and should not be brought to court. Urge Speaker Boehner to drop plans to bring the lawsuit forward.
Dear Representative Boehner,
You recently announced your strong intentions to sue President Obama over his use of executive orders, claiming that they are an example of executive overreach. However you have as yet failed to provide specific examples of actions taken by the president that overstepped his constitutionally-granted authority.
A lawsuit without substance would be misuse time and resources when you yourself have repeatedly argued for cuts in wasteful spending. Representative Steve Israel has called the move a “reprehensible waste of taxpayers’ money and a desperate political stunt.”
As the Speaker of the House, your actions carry great weight and many look to you for guidance and leadership. Engaging in a frivolous lawsuit on behalf of the House is not an effective use of this power. I urge you to cease your plans to sue the president until you are able to demonstrate clear evidence of misconduct.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pete Souza via Wikimedia Commons