House of Representatives Files Opposition To Summary Judgment Motion In ACA Challenge

800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewOn December 2, 2015, the United States House of Representatives filed its motion for summary judgment in its challenge to the Administration’s unilateral actions taken under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At the time, the Administration filed its own summary judgment motion. This evening, the House filed its opposition to the Administration’s motion.

The Administration also filed its opposition to the House motion for summary judgment. Both parties will now have an opportunity to respond to the respective opposition filings. Replies are due February 5, 2016. All briefings will then be complete on the dispositive motions.

Jonathan Turley
Lead Counsel for the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives v. Burwell et al

41 thoughts on “House of Representatives Files Opposition To Summary Judgment Motion In ACA Challenge

  1. Your tax dollars at work. How much has been spent on this effort? Imagine if the time and effort to craft litigation were spent on crafting legislation to create sustainable and workable solutions to the ACA. Oh I forget, their efforts were spent acting out their “mad” to make BHO a “one term president.”

  2. a constitutional amendment requiring all matters within a bill submitted to committee or either chamber be reasonably related to all other matters within it?

    @ Steve.

    I think that the idea of each bill not being larded up with extraneous and unrelated additions/amendments is a great one and should definitely be implemented. A bill should be able to be read, understood and be ON TOPIC.

    Currently there are so many fleas on the doggy bills that it is impossible to know what is in the bill and more importantly impossible to be able to discern the ramifications of the bills. THIS is the main reason the Obamacare is such a hot mess. Too much at once, too many unknown and hidden parts, no understanding of how the whole thing can work…Plus the “bill” that was passed keeps getting morphed and change OUTSIDE of the legislative process by administrative actions and just plain flaunting of the law.

    As a Constitutional amendment, I doubt that it is one that could be passed through that tedious and lengthy procedure. We also don’t have the time to go through this process to stop the b*stardized procedure that is going on now with these giant omnibus bills and omnibus budgets.. The rule should become one of that House and the Senate implements. Yeah….I know….good luck with that 😐

  3. A human being who has an interest in a dispute may have standing to sue. Two individuals who disagree should file separate cases. A basketball team can not sue on behalf of the whole team unless they all agree. Or unless the team is owned by one owner or several who agree. Standing is in essence standing on two feet. The House is divided. It does not stand on two feet. There are many feet who disagree with the lawsuit. How can just fifty one of a hundred sue on behalf of the whole hundred? Same with the House. Which does not stand as one. No standing to sue. No brainer.

    • BarkinDog, your argument appears to require that an entity’s standing to sue must have be based on unanimous consent within its governing body to move forward with the suit. Isn’t this a baitfish taking the dog down the wrong path?

      If, for example, the federal Constitution authorizes congressional subpoenas which are then resisted by the Executive, it seems to me there’s a case or controversy, despite some members of Congress disagreeing with such a lawsuit, the focal point of which is the limitations of Executive power.

  4. Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today on the amicus brief filed this afternoon with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of U.S. House of Representatives v. Burwell. The amicus brief supports the government’s position that this inter-branch dispute should be resolved through traditional legislative processes, not by the courts; and also that the executive branch has been acting within its lawful authority when it reimburses health insurers for cost-sharing reductions – as the Affordable Care Act expressly requires it to do so. The brief is led by Leader Pelosi, joined by the House Democratic Leadership and by the Ranking Members of the House Appropriations, Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Rules, and Ways and Means Committees.

    “After more than 60 dead-end votes to unravel the ACA, House Republicans are once again trying to get the courts to do their political work for them. This time, Republicans are suing to raise the health costs for millions of hard-working Americans – a preposterous attempt to destroy the law’s mandatory reimbursement of health insurers for the cost-sharing reductions that help low- and middle-income Americans buy health insurance.

    “As leaders of Congress when the ACA was passed, the signers of this brief know that this Republican lawsuit is a meritless claim – one that shouldn’t even be entertained by the courts in the first place. For the courts to wade into such an inter-branch political dispute would displace the traditional legislative processes and destabilize the separation of powers among the three branches of government.

    “However, if the District Court does reach the merits of this case, it should issue the only ruling consistent with the text and structure of the ACA: ruling that the ACA provided a permanent appropriation for these cost-sharing reductions. It is clear that the executive branch has been acting within its lawful authority in reimbursing health insurers for cost-sharing reductions, as the ACA expressly required it to do so. Republicans are brazenly trying to ignore the clear mandate for the cost-sharing reductions in the ACA, hurl insurance markets into chaos, and destroy the affordable health coverage of millions of Americans.

    “Thanks to this historic law, nearly 18 million previously uninsured Americans now have quality, affordable health coverage. Republicans should stop wasting taxpayer dollars on lawsuits to dismantle the health coverage of hard working American families.”

    • BarkinDog:

      Not that I blame Nancy Pelosi for sleeping during State of the Union Addresses while she was Speaker, but I doubt she wrote that brief. Back to the House having standing to sue, frankly, if you read her opinion from September 9th, Judge Collyer appears to have gotten this one entirely right, based on the precedent argued by counsel.

      Justiciability is another matter, though, as she mentioned and the Supreme Court warned in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission:

      “To be sure, the [Supreme Court in the Arizona case] went out of its way not to decide the question presented in this case: ‘The case before us does not touch or concern the question whether Congress has standing to bring a suit against the President. There is no federal analogue to Arizona’s initiative power, and a suit between Congress and the President would raise separation-of-powers concerns absent here.’ Id. at 2665 n.12. That obiter dictum raises cautions only as to justiciability, not jurisdiction.”

      We’ll find out. 🙂

  5. FogDogSF,

    “…crafting legislation to create sustainable and workable solutions to the ACA.”

    You sound like Lenin or Stalin promising to dictate “free stuff” to the “voters” in a one man, one vote democrazy. Did anyone ever teach you of Ben Franklin’s admonition, we gave you “a republic, if you can keep it?” What do you suppose Franklin et al. were thinking? Did they create a “you-are-your-brother’s-keeper” theocracy?

    Their republic implemented a right to private property and had no welfare, affirmative action, social services, quotas, forced busing, Medicare, Obamacare, WIC, IRS, HAMP, HARP, Bail-Outs, Too Big To Fail, corporate welfare, faux “corporate tax” that customers actually pay, unfair “Fair Housing,” biased “Non-Discrimination Law,” etc.

    Their republic required voters to be European, male, 21 with 50lbs. Sterling or 50 acres. The Founders did not suffer the vote of illegal aliens and incongruous, unassimilable “refugees” and “asylum seekers.” Have you read the Preamble where it says – “…TO OURSELVES AND OUR POSTERITY,..?” Do you know where you are; what country you’re in; what the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights say? They do say:

    NO Central Planning
    NO Control of the Means of Production
    NO Social Engineering
    NO Redistribution of Wealth

    I don’t suppose you noticed the “past practices” of the Founders in 1789 when the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified. Healthcare, and every other industry, was private. Redistribution of wealth did not exist, with the exception of charities, and the concept did not emerge until 60 years later with the introduction of Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto.

    Presumably you believe the Manifesto and Constitution prescribe the same societal conditions. Technically, what you have espoused and expound on is treason. Given the freedoms provided in the founding documents, including the right to private property, not one of the communist principles is constitutional. They may exist in America but they are not constitutional. Corruption is ubiquitous (do you know the difference between “state” and “federal?”). The entire political environment extant in America most resembles the 18th amendment as it awaited repeal by the 21st.

    America awaits repeal of the communism that has been imposed on it.

    America must be repealed back to the founding documents of 1789.

    Americans engaged in freedom and free enterprise, under government severely limited to security and infrastructure, who “pursue happiness” as the “blessings of liberty,” within the American thesis of freedom and self-reliance, understand that any form of nationalized healthcare is not only unconstitutional but treason.

    Obamacare, Medicare and every other form of nationalized healthcare is unconstitutional. What does it tell us that an ineligible imposter, as a usurper in “overreach” mode, imposed unconstitutional and unpopular nationalized healthcare?

    You don’t suppose Trump will Make America Great Again and repeal the entire parasitic communist welfare state, do you?

    P.S. It seems the Founders assured your freedom and release from the idiosyncrasies, proclivities, dictates and commands of the King so that you might go out into the free markets of the private sector and open a charity that provides free healthcare to all the people you love and believe worthy and deserving. To be honest, it seems to be a character flaw for you and your ilk to actual steal money from other people to simply and haphazardly give it away to people you favor.

    If you want healthcare, go buy it.

  6. What is your health care John? If you were a Congressman you would have total health care for free. Under the law prior to Obamacare you could not get health care (insurance) if you have a pre existing condition. Bring that back JT. But take away the Congressmen’s free medical care. Turnabout is fair play.
    I am thinking about filing a lawsuit to deny members of Congress their free medical care on my tax dime. I think I have standing to sue.

  7. Let me get this straight.

    An issue can be as clear as a bell by code, statute, body of law or constitution.

    As long as a court has “decided” and a “precedent” has been set, errors and corruption of the court do

    not bear.

    It’s as if the consummate error of “precedent” Obama who is irrefutably ineligible, can’t be corrected.

    It’s as if the 21st amendment can’t possibly have weight or force because the 18th was once ratified.

    This whole concept of infallible and incorruptible courts, decisions and precedents must be abolished and abrogated.

    Wherever and whenever it is discovered that the Preamble, Constitution or Bill of Rights have been violated, it is the duty of Americans to remediate immediately and without delay.

    It’s akin to proposing that the Founders had no right to employ the phrase “natural born citizen” because an opponent in the present time fraudulently claims he can’t understand it. As a matter of fact, the definition was in the copies of the Law of Nations that the Founders carried in their hip pockets.

  8. BarkinDog, that’s the point. Aspects of other people’s lives are none of your business. America is not ruled by a theocracy, the Communist Manifesto or any other form of dictatorship.

    Read the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    You and every other citizen are free to “pursue happiness” engaging in “self-reliance.”

    Government is limited to security and infrastructure and people free to engage in free enterprise without interference by government.

    The Revolution and founding documents ended dictatorship by the King or any other entity.

    You’re free. Free at last.

    Charity is an industry in the free markets of the private sector.

    No one needs to ask others about any aspect of their lives, Americans are free to take care of themselves.

    All people must operate a business or get a job and provide for themselves.

    Hunger and thirst are the greatest incentive builders and motivators.


  9. Here is a portion of the memorandum (styled Oppostion) by JT which summarizes the House Divided position:

    As the Court is aware, Congress, in the ACA, specifically appropriated funds for the
    Section 1401 Refundable Tax Credit Program by amending an existing permanent appropriation
    statute, 31 U.S.C. § 1324. See ACA § 1401(d).2 In now moving for summary judgment,
    defendants never assert that Congress expressly appropriated funds for the Section 1402 Offset
    At the time the House submitted its Motion for Summary Judgment on December 2, 2015, Congress
    had enacted legislation continuing appropriations for FY 2016 (at FY 2015 levels) only through
    December 11, 2015. See House Mem. at 11. Subsequently, Congress enacted, and the President signed
    into law, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Pub. L. No. 114-113, __ Stat. __ (2015), which
    provides appropriations for the remainder of FY 2016. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, does
    not contain any appropriation for the Section 1402 Offset Program.
    Because the House cites to provisions of the ACA, and defendants cite to corresponding provisions of
    the U.S. Code, we have included, for the Court’s convenience, a Table of Parallel Citations at p. iii.
    Case 1:14-cv-01967-RMC Document 66 Filed 01/15/16 Page 16 of 61
    Program. See Defs.’ Mem. in Supp. of Their Mot. for Summ. J. (Dec. 2, 2015) (ECF No. 55-1)
    (“Defendants’ Memorandum”). Instead, they argue almost entirely from the premise that,
    because the Section 1401 Refundable Tax Credit Program and the Section 1402 Offset Program
    serve a common purpose – to make health insurance more widely available, see id. at 1 – the
    Court may deem the permanent appropriation that indisputably is available to fund the former
    also available to fund the latter. That is, defendants now ask the Court to do exactly what it
    already has said that it may not do – infer an appropriation for the Section 1402 Offset Program.
    Every supporting argument in Defendants’ Memorandum – whether framed as textual, structural,
    legislative record, or something else – confirms this. Accordingly, the House urges the Court to
    reject defendants’ invitation to rewrite the ACA and 31 U.S.C. § 1324.

  10. Defining ‘affordable’ in the ACA- I am 67 and still working with my small business. My adequate but by no means cadillac health care premium has gone from $425/month to $1025/month. I decided to switch to medicare to avoid overburdening business with this expense only to find that I am penalized by medicare for having income.
    Just this week I received a letter informing us that any employee 65 or older MUST sign up for medicare part B which will serve as primary coverage, which means we pay as a business for the employee coverage and the employee pays for part B.
    We also received an packet of new reporting regulations and audit advisories.

    The economy is anything but robust or stable. This may be the straw, or should I say tree trunk, that breaks the camel’s back.

  11. Summary judgement….so another case with no witnesses….made up colluded to “facts” another case and controversy……i mean case and fantasy. Nothing like americas legal system. And someone will win without the proper party before the court. And the decision will bind everyone despite a true class. Any questions? I object.

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