Constitutional experts testify Wednesday on potential GOP lawsuit against Obama


McClatchy Washington Bureau

Constitutional experts Walter Dellinger and Simon Lazarus will testify Wednesday before the House Rules Committee, at the request of Democrats, on Republican leaders’ plan to sue President Barack Obama.

House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday the suit would challenge Obama’s decision to put off penalties on employers who don’t offer insurance coverage to employees, as required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Democrats have derided the effort as a stunt. Boehner insists Obama has altered legislation without seeking congressional consent.

The Rules Committee, dominated by Republicans, will hear from Dellinger, now on leave from Duke University, where he is a law professor. He has been acting Solicitor General and an advisor to President Bill Clinton on constitutional issues.

Lazarus is senior counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, and previously served as Associate Director of President Jimmy Carter’s White House Domestic Policy Staff.

“Mr. Dellinger and Mr. Lazarus are two of the premier constitutional scholars in the United States today and they will be making a forceful legal argument for why the House’s lawsuit is without merit,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., top Democrat on the House Rules Committee. “Their testimony will stand in stark contrast to the fringe arguments that have been constructed by the House Majority to justify this purely political exercise.”

Politico is reporting that Republican witnesses are Jonathan Turley, a noted constitutional scholar with the George Washington Law School and Florida International University law professor Elizabeth Price Foley.

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