South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy said Sunday that the Obama administration’s deliberate flouting of congressional law “has reached an unprecedented level,” claiming the time is now ripe for Congress to take the White House to court over executive overreach.
Gowdy spoke with Fox News’ Shannon Bream about a House resolution authorizing a congressional lawsuit against the executive branch. Although individual lawmakers do not have standing to challenge the president, the provision would allow the institution of Congress itself to sue the Obama administration for ignoring laws passed by the legislative body.
“The case law that says members don’t have standing also allows for the institution itself — under a theory of vote nullification, that if the executive is just nullifying the votes of a co-equal branch of government — that we may have standing,” Gowdy said. “So an individual member — the case you referenced was Dennis Kucinich challenging the actions in Libya — he does not have standing. But the institution of Congress as a whole, if it relates to recess appointments or the Affordable Care Act or immigration, courts have signaled that they may say the institution itself has standing, and that’s what [South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice] is trying to do with his resolution.”
The South Carolina congressman rattled off a litany of executive abuses under President Barack Obama, including a blatant disregard of immigration enforcement laws and numerous, unilateral Obamacare rule changes and delays. Gowdy says Congress is running out of options to protect their constitutional turf.
“I don’t like running to the court,” he told Bream. “I’d rather use any other remedy other than going to the court. But our other remedies have not worked, and the judicial branch is there for a reason. In certain circumstances Congress ought to be able to assert its standing, and I just think the pervasiveness of his ignoring of Congress has reached a point, we don’t have a choice.”
“If you can turn off certain categories of law,” he concluded, “do you not also have the power to turn off all categories of law? And frankly, Jonathan Turley — who is no Republican I might add, and if you watched the hearing you know he’s not a Republican — he agrees with us. It has reached an unprecedented level. And we gotta do something about it.”