Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:22 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:22:35 GMT
Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a...More >>
Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new,...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:46:40 GMT
After a bruising nine-week runoff campaign, Georgia Republicans will finally have their Senate nominee who will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn for a seat the GOP can ill afford to lose as the party looks to...More >>
Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia's U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a matchup against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn that will help determine...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:15:04 GMT
By The Associated Press Delta Air Lines is canceling all flights to Israel until further notice, citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.More >>
By The Associated Press When U.S. and European airlines quickly canceled flights to Israel Tuesday, they showed both a skittishness and a new sense of urgency in dealing with global trouble spots...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:53:36 GMT
A man believed to have provided the gun used by Boston Marathon bombing suspects to kill a college police officer has been arrested on drug and weapon charges.More >>
A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the manhunt, people with knowledge of the...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:06 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:06:41 GMT
Firefighters and local authorities are heartened by weather forecasts that call for continued cooler temperatures and higher humidity as they battle a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles...More >>
Firefighters made progress Tuesday in their efforts to get the largest wildfire in Washington state's history under control, with wetter weather bringing some relief but also raising concerns about flash flooding.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:06 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:06:08 GMT
Attorneys for the state of Arizona have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow an execution planned for Wednesday to proceed, saying Joseph Rudolph Wood can't establish he has a First Amendment right to the...More >>
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed an Arizona execution to go forward amid a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs in the country.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:33:25 GMT
Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that makes it harder...More >>
Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that make it harder for that...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:11:21 GMT
In Libya, militias armed with shoulder-launched missiles are battling for control of the country's main airport. In Africa, the entire Sahel region is awash with weapons that include portable air defense...More >>
In Libya, militias armed with shoulder-launched missiles are battling for control of the country's main airport. In Africa, the entire Sahel region is awash with weapons that include portable air defense systems...More >>
Kids (and adults) get plenty dirty during rainy Mud Day at suburban Detroit parkMore >>
Kids (and adults) get plenty dirty during rainy Mud Day at suburban Detroit parkMore >>
By ALAN FRAM Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - A planned House Republican lawsuit against President Barack Obama is justified because his actions carrying out his health care law dangerously exceed his powers, constitutional lawyers backing the litigation told lawmakers Wednesday.
Attorneys allied with Democrats in opposing the election-year suit said it's the GOP that's going too far by trying to resolve a political dispute by handing the question to the federal courts to decide.
The lawyers appeared before the House Rules Committee, which is considering Republican-written legislation authorizing the House to file the lawsuit. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he wants to take legal action because Obama has abused his authority to carry out laws Congress approves, specifically by delaying a health care law requirement that many employers provide medical coverage for workers.
In recent months, Republicans have attacked Obama for taking actions like having the Environmental Protection Agency curb emissions from coal-fired power plants, raising the minimum wage for federal contractors and blocking the deportation of children illegally brought into the U.S. by their parents. GOP lawmakers say their lawsuit is simply an attempt to defend Congress' powers against a president who they say has made a habit of acting unilaterally to carry out personal policy preferences.
"This is not a political issue. This is not an issue that should pit Republicans against Democrats," said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, the Rules Committee chairman.
"Any person interested in our Constitution and our brilliant system of separation of powers should be worried about what is currently happening in our country," Sessions said.
Democrats mocked the legal action as a purely political exercise that is doomed to failure but aimed at appeasing conservatives who want to see Obama impeached. The Rules committee's top Democrat, Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York, called it "preposterous" and noted that in effect Republicans are filing suit over a delay in a part of a law that every GOP lawmaker opposed and that the House has voted about 50 times to repeal or pare back.
"This is a partisan political stunt timed to peak in the House of Representatives in November, right as the midterm elections are happening," Slaughter said. "The House majority is suing the president simply for doing his job."
The House is expected to vote on the resolution before leaving for its August recess.
On Wednesday, each party sought ammunition by inviting legal experts to testify.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a Republican witness, told the committee that the House has a right and "deep obligation" to protect Congress' powers.
"It is not a political question when this body goes to court and says the president has exceeded his authority," Turley said. "If it doesn't, I think this system is going to change in a very significant and in my view a dangerous way."
Elizabeth Price Foley, a law professor at Florida International University, disputed Democratic claims that the lawsuit was invalid because Obama has not infringed on Congress' powers to pass laws. She said Republicans have "an excellent chance" of winning a dispute over the meaning of the constitutional provision that the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."
That was countered by attorney Simon Lazarus of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a Democratic witness who said the Constitution gives presidents authority to make reasonable and needed adjustments as laws are translated into government action.
"Exercising presidential judgment in carrying out laws into execution is precisely what the Constitution requires," said Lazarus. He said GOP claims that Obama has exceeded his powers "import the Constitution into what are, in reality, political and policy debates."
Attorney Walter Dellinger, a former Clinton administration official, warned that having the courts settle disputes when the president doesn't administer a law the way the House wants "would be an unprecedented aggrandizement of the political power of the judiciary."
"Such a radical liberalization of the role of unelected judges in matters previously entrusted to the elected branches of government should be rejected," Dellinger said.
At one point, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., cited a February article Foley wrote for the Daily Caller conservative website in which she wrote that based on prior Supreme Court rulings, "Congress probably can't sue the president."
"Maybe some of your views have changed," McGovern told her.
Foley, a one-time congressional Democratic aide who currently advises the conservative James Madison Institute, said her views haven't changed and said her article was premised on Congress being unable to limit a president's actions.
She also said she'd found that of 41 previous cases she'd found in which legislators tried suing the executive branch for its actions, 68 percent were brought by Democrats - including Slaughter, who joined a 2006 Democratic suit against President George W. Bush over a budget bill.
Responding to outcries from business groups, Obama has twice delayed the so-called employer mandate section of the 2010 health care law. The law requires companies with 50 or more employees working 30 or more hours a week to offer health care coverage or pay fines. It exempts small businesses with fewer than 50 workers.
The requirement was initially to take effect this year. Companies with 50 to 99 employees now have until 2016 to comply, while bigger companies have until next year.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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