4:33 PM, Jul 11, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
Speaker Boehner's proposed constitutional lawsuit against the president doesn't lack critics, including those who doubt that Congress has "standing" to bring such a case in federal court. And it's no surprise to find some conservatives among the critics: Conservative justices and judges were largely responsible for reinvigorating the doctrine of "standing" as a constitutional limit on judicial review of statutes and regulations.
But it is quite another thing to see liberals invoking rules of standing to bar courthouse doors, after spending decades complaining about the Rehnquist Court's invigoration of those very same rules, ever since the Supreme Court's rejection of environmentalists' standing in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992). This has been a common tactic throughout the Obama administration's defense of regulatory programs, but perhaps the best example came today, from Harvard's Cass Sunstein.
"It is ironic," he writes, that Boehner’s lawsuit proposal "speaks of separation of powers, the oath of office and constitutional principles," because such a lawsuit would "defy" the Constitution by lacking the requisite standing. "If it is actually brought," he predicts, "the House’s lawsuit, purportedly designed to promote conformity to the Constitution, will almost certainly be promptly dismissed -- on constitutional grounds."
Well, yes, let's talk about irony. Long before President Obama appointed him to direct the White House's review of regulations, Sunstein was a vocal critic of the standing doctrine. Writing in 1988, he urged that new standing doctrines were not truly constitutional, and that the best understanding of the Constitution's requirements—namely, of Article III's provision that federal courts only hear actual "cases" or "controversies," not merely abstract arguments—is that Congress can vest litigants with standing by enacting statutes authorizing judicial review:
The best interpretation of article III would recognize that Congress has the authority to define legal rights and obligations, and that it may therefore, by statute, create an injury in fact where, as far as the legal system was concerned, there had been no injury before. Article III does not require an injury in fact, even if the APA does, and article III certainly does not require a traditional private right. Article III requires a case or controversy, a concept that depends on the acts of Congress.
Four years later, after the Court reaffirmed its modern constitutional standing requirements in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992), Sunstein once again denounced the decision in scathing terms:
... Lujan's invalidation of a congressional grant of standing is a misinterpretation of the Constitution. It is now apparently the law that Article III forbids Congress from granting standing to “citizens” to bring suit. But this view, building on an unfortunate innovation in standing law by Justice William O. Douglas, is surprisingly novel. It has no support in the text or history of Article III. It is essentially an invention of federal judges, and recent ones at that. Certainly it should not be accepted by judges who are sincerely committed to the original understanding of the Constitution and to judicial restraint. Nor should it be accepted by judges who have different approaches to constitutional interpretation.
But perhaps Sunstein's most famous writing on standing came a few years later, when he argued that Congress had the power to give standing not just to people, but to animals:
A president incapable of pivoting.Jul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By FRED BARNES
The circumstances facing Israel have changed. Rockets fired from Gaza now reach deeper into the country, threatening two-thirds of Israel’s eight million people. Hamas, the terrorist group responsible for the surge in rocket attacks, has become a partner in the government of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. And Abbas appears reluctant to require Hamas to give up terrorism and its commitment to destroy Israel. Meanwhile, the jihadist menace is growing in Syria and Iraq.
2:10 PM, Jul 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Elliott Abrams, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations:
Israel is under attack by the terrorist group Hamas. Hundreds of rockets have fallen on its cities and towns. Millions of Israelis run, and must pull their children, into shelters each day.
7:15 AM, Jul 10, 2014 • By DAVID W. MURRAY and JOHN P. WALTERS
President Obama visited Denver this week, was offered marijuana, and laughed. His administration made possible the open marketing and use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state by directing that federal law not be enforced. The president is joined by Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul in supporting marijuana legalization. As Clinton recently told CNN, "On recreational marijuana, states are the laboratories of democracy.
5:39 PM, Jul 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
When is it okay for a politician to discuss impeaching a president? Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst is receiving criticism for her responses to questions about impeaching President Obama. Ernst, who won her party's nomination last month, never actually said she supported impeachment. But amid recent calls from some conservatives that "it's time to impeach" the president the Iowa Republican is receiving some tougher scrutiny over her past statements on impeachment.
4:48 PM, Jul 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama will speak on the "urgent humanitarian situation at the Southwest border," the White House announced. He'll make the remarks from Dallas, Texas.
The White House sent out a revised schedule announcing the remarks:
4:45 PM, Jul 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama announced the resignation of National Counterterrorism Center director Matt Olsen.
"Most Americans may not know Matt Olsen’s name, but every American is safer because of his service," says Obama in a prepared statement.
12:34 PM, Jul 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar ripped President Obama for being "aloof" and "detached" by not visiting the Texas border to see first hand the immigration crisis. Cuellar made the comments on MSNBC:
'Do you want to hit this?'6:15 AM, Jul 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama was asked whether he wanted to smoke marijuana by a fellow patron of a Denver bar last night. The offer came from Instagram user manton89, who posted video of the ask on his Instagram account. "Asked him if he wanted a hit of pot...he laughed!" writes manton89 .
A voice can be heard asking President Obama, as he glad hands his way through the establishment: "Do you want to hit this?"
11:28 AM, Jul 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson struggled this morning on NBC to say whether the Obama administration will deport most of the recent influx of illegal immigrants:
4:57 PM, Jul 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The president and his party are reworking the message. Envy is out – or to be downplayed, anyway – and optimism is in. They tried “wealth inequality,” and it didn’t resonate. Now, as Zachary A.
12:00 AM, Jul 5, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
After celebrating our Declaration of Independence from the British oppressor, we will return to work Monday having consumed 155 million hot dogs and, for some 41 million of us, bucked traffic jams, long security lines at airports, or storm-induced flight delays in order to visit family or whatever place attracts us in this huge country of ours.