A lawsuit has been prepared by the Landmark Legal Foundation to be filed immediately – if members of the U.S. House use a trick that has been dubbed the “Slaughter rule” to advance President Obama’s vision of government-run health care in the United States.
The action was announced today by Mark R. Levin, attorney, top radio talker and president of the foundation, who said the use of the so-called “deem and pass,” “self-executing,” or “Slaughter rule” to enact H.R. 3590 would result in an instant legal challenge.
“If this tactic is employed, Landmark will immediately sue the president, Attorney General Eric Holder and other relevant cabinet members to prevent them from instituting this unconstitutional contrivance,” the announcement said.
The plan, which has found favor with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because “people won’t have to vote on the Senate bill,” would allow the U.S. House to simply “deem” the Senate proposal approved in the House without an up-or-down vote on the plan.
As prepared, the lawsuit alleges that Congress and the president “are presently intending to transgress the requirements of the U.S. Constitution, rendering the liberty of United States citizens at stake.
“The conduct of the House of Representatives and the president of the United
States violates plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution, which provides that ‘No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’ …
“Under color of law, the defendants intend to collect taxes, remove and replace insurance benefits, and rewrite health-insurance contracts affecting plaintiffs and Landmark’s employees. The Senate bill enacts broad and encompassing regulation of health care in this country. It changes the law and places new regulatory and tax burdens on millions of Americans, including large and small entities of which Landmark is one as a not-for-profit organization,” it alleges.
“Because the House violated the Constitution by never voting on the Senate bill, the Senate bill cannot be and is not a law of the United States. Defendants, charged by law and the Constitution with enforcing the law, must be prevented from treating the Senate bill as a law of the United States. Any signature by the president is a nullity, and the piece of paper he has stated that he will sign or has signed is nothing more than that: a piece of paper,” it continues.
Levin, who also hosts the top-rated Mark Levin Show, said the lawsuit will be filed “the moment the House acts.”
“Such a brazen violation of the core functions of Congress simply cannot be ignored. Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution is clear respecting the manner in which a bill becomes law. Members are required to vote on this bill, not claim they did when they didn’t. The speaker of the House and her lieutenants are temporary custodians of congressional authority. They are not empowered to do permanent violence to our Constitution,” he said.
Founded in 1976, the Landmark Legal Foundation is a nonprofit, public-interest law firm with offices in Kansas City and Virginia.
The prepared document cites the “Bicameralism and Presentment Clause of the Constitution of the United
States” which requires that “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States.”
That means each house of Congress must vote on the same text, the document further explains.
But the House Rules Committee this month suggested a “rule” to the full House that would allow “certain legislation” to be considered by the House.
“The rule provided that, upon adoption by the House on a vote of the yeas and nays of one bill (the ‘Reconciliation Bill’), an
entirely different bill, H.R. 3590 (the ‘Senate Bill’) would be ‘deemed approved’ by the House,” the case alleges.
“The constitutionally protected liberty interests of the American public are at risk because the Senate Bill undermines investments in contracts which must be rewritten, taxes health-insurance plans into the future, which businesses must account for immediately, employees may be terminated, and myriad business relationships and investments may be undermined by the contents and through the enforcement of various provisions in the 2,000-plus–page Senate
Bill, which was formed from concentrated power in the Senate and not through the extension of the will of the people in the House of Representatives,” the case alleges.
It also warns that if the courts do not act, “then the House and Senate will be free to adopt any such procedures in the future, assured that they will be immune from judicial review under any and all circumstances.”
A separate legal challenge already has been filed against the White House over its “backroom deals” that have led to the president’s plan for nationalized health care.
Larry Klayman, a legal firebrand whose work fighting government corruption left both Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney on the defensive, has a lawsuit pending over the president’s secret meetings with Planned Parenthood and other lobbyists.
Klayman, who founded Judicial Watch and, more recently, Freedom Watch USA, has a case in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeking information from Obama under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires disclosure of records of meetings between the executive branch and outside industry lobbyists. The law also requires access to meetings.
Klayman’s case contends the president’s conduct falls within the scope of the act that “requires the president to come clean on why he has caved in to the pharmaceutical industry, preventing the importation of prescription drugs that would lower prices for consumers, why he has become the lackey of Planned Parenthood in championing government-financed abortions, and why the (American Medical Association) and AARP are now his great friends.”
Klayman’s case targets “the particulars behind the secret deals the White House has been cutting with private health-care concerns, such as the AMA, Pharma, Planned Parenthood, AARP, and other lobbyists seeking to feed at the trough of the government.”
“Freedom Watch will not rest until the American people know all the facts about this historic and ill-advised health-care legislation, which most Americans – be they conservative, middle of the road or liberal – think we cannot afford and do not want as it is written,” he said when the case was launched.
“Congress has no authority to require every person to obtain insurance coverage and has no authority to fine employers who do not provide the coverage standards that are required in the bill,” he said at the time.
“In addition,” he warned, “the bill still requires citizens to pay a fine if they don’t maintain insurance for themselves and their families.”