This isn’t going to happen, but a political author thinks President Obama should sue Congress, given that Congress has sued him.
Thomas Geoghegan’s reason? Gerrymandering.
What a concept.
House Speaker John Boehner has been given authority to sue Obama over the president’s use of executive authority as it relates to the Affordable Care Act. The president has chided Boehner over his threatened lawsuit. Some polling indicates the public is on Obama’s side, that the GOP is engaging in a purely partisan exercise to fire up its base in advance of the mid-term election.
Geoghegan thinks Obama should take it a step further. The gerrymandering of House congressional districts to favor Republicans has disenfranchised voters who cannot elect candidates of their choosing. The deck is stacked in favor of the GOP, thanks to legislatures’ redrawing of the lines to give Republicans a built-in advantage.
He writes: “In Ohio, for example, about half the votes in the House races of 2012 went to Democrats, but the GOP took 12 of the 16 seats. In Pennsylvania, it was more than half, but the GOP grabbed 13 of the 18 House seats.”
There’s more: “Does Obama have such a right to sue? You bet he does. The United States has standing to sue any state that interferes with any attribute of its sovereignty. And when state legislatures try to interfere with the right of the people under Article I of the Constitution to elect House members of their own choosing, they are interfering with such an attribute of U.S. sovereignty—indeed, disrupting a relationship that runs from the people to their national government. So, yes: If Obama chose to fire back, the administration would have standing to say: ‘State legislatures that engage in gerrymandering are interfering with a constitutional scheme that gives the states no role at all in influencing who does or does not go to the U.S. House.’”
Interesting, don’t you think? I do.
Will the president do it? I doubt it. He’s probably wise to let Boehner and the House Republican majority stew in their own juices, while continuing to chide them at campaign fundraisers across the country.
Besides, if he’s going to join the chorus that gripes about Boehner’s “frivolous” lawsuit, it hardly seems right to engage in yet another exercise in frivolity.