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Huge stakes for GOP’s Obama court challenges

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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HUGE STAKES FOR GOP’S OBAMA COURT CHALLENGES
Buoyed by a string of favorable court rulings, Republicans are feeling plucky about their chances in key legal battles aimed at constraining President Obama’s expansive claims to executive powers. But if these efforts fail, Republicans may have succeeded in expanding, not shrinking, the imperial presidency.

Honey badger or Honey Boo Boo? - We saw for the first time Thursday the outline of the proposed lawsuit by the House of Representatives that would ask federal courts to bar Obama from contradicting his own signature health law. At issue specifically is Obama’s decision to waive explicitly stated penalties for big businesses that don’t comply with the law. Obama is all swagger on the campaign trail saying he is ready to “let it rip” and bragging about the additional steps he plans to take to bypass Congress. He is trying to sound like a honey badger, but sounds a little like Honey Boo Boo. Obama may say he can do what he wants, but he knows there’s trouble ahead. If the Supreme Court again rules that he cannot go it alone, the president would not only loose his last remaining weapon as a lame duck, but would also have to start cutting a deal with Congress on ObamaCare. Unable to revise the law by fiat, Obama would be forced to either see the devastating provisions he ordered delayed swing into place swiftly or start cutting a deal to prevent a calamity for the economy and workers.

The same goes for the big lawsuit against ObamaCare in the federal appellate courts. That suit says the administration’s move to pay subsidies in the 36 states that opted not to set up their own ObamaCare programs is allowed under the language of the law. A decision against the administration, which could come as early as today, might upend the entire system. If those who signed up on the grounds of federal assistance see that money disappear, the number of enrollments will crater. There again, the president would be forced to either agree to the first concessions to Republicans on the law or watch millions suffer. Not a pretty picture for a prideful president.

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Chris Stirewalt

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