Congress v. the President

The Congress should sue the President, the editors of The Wall Street Journal write. “Under the Constitution, Congress is supposed to create and amend laws and the President to faithfully execute them, but Mr. Obama has grabbed inherent Article I powers by suspending or rewriting statutes he opposes.” In other words, he has “usurped Congress with impunity”. For example, the President has changed Obamacare’s employer mandate, despite the language of the law. Courts have been hesitant to entertain suits from lawmakers on the basis that they do not have legal standing. However, some legal experts argue that the Congress as a whole could sue the Executive Branch. According to the editors, if the courts accept such challenges and find in favor of the Legislative Branch, it would signal a restoration of the rights of Congress, as envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution. “The President thinks he can disregard the laws, but judges are paid to defend them”, the editors conclude.

The Wall Street Journal: Standing to Sue Obama

Representative Trey Gowdy to Lead Benghazi Select Committee

Speaker of the House John Boehner has named Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina to serve as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Gowdy has a reputation for being tough on the Administration and questioning witnesses much as he would have when working as a prosecutor. Republicans say that there are a number of issues related to the attack on American personnel in Benghazi, Libya, which require answers from the Obama Administration. Most notable among them is whether the Administration lied to or misled the American people over the reason for the attack. Democrats have argued that the Select Committee is a political ploy. It is unclear whether they will participate or not.

USA Today: Gowdy Brings Prosecutor’s Zeal to Benghazi Probe

The Hill: Boehner Taps Gowdy to Lead Benghazi Select Committee

Mapping the Midterms

Democrats are complaining that the Benghazi Select Committee is an election ploy…but since it’s an election year, you could say that about almost anything! But the Democrats do have reason to worry: The President and his signature achievement, Obamacare, are unpopular, and Democrats are defending more seats than Republicans, especially in areas where Mitt Romney fared well in the last election. Since it’s entirely plausible that it will flip to Republican control, the Senate races will be on everyone’s radar from now until November. Politico, however, has got us covered, with 10 interesting maps explaining the dynamics at play in this year’s elections.

Politico Magazine: 10 Maps That Explain the 2014 Midterms

Climbing the Congressional Ladder: Running for Senate

Whoever winds up controlling the Senate next year, there will likely be a handful of lawmakers moving from the Lower Chamber to the Upper. When you are safely ensconced in your House district, why bother moving up? For one, there is the prestige of the Senate: It’s a far more exclusive club, less than a quarter of the size of the House. Within the Senate, individual Members, even freshmen, have greater clout than their counterparts in the Lower Chamber. Outside the body, they are better recognized, and people often speculate on their future plans. They also have more constitutional powers, such as the right to accept or reject Executive and Judicial Branch nominees.

National Journal: So You Want to Be a Senator, Huh?

And for our latest post: Using the “Pen and Phone” to Blur the Separation of Powers