Democrat Wants Gag Order On Liberal Lawyer Representing GOP In Obamacare Lawsuit

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Self-avowed liberal law professor Jonathan Turley is representing the House GOP in its lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s implementation of Obamacare and at least one House Democrat wants him punished for it

Turley, a George Washington University law professor, is also a frequent media commentator on political issues. Despite describing himself as a political liberal, he’s long been harshly critical of Obama’s use of executive power and said he’d jumped at the chance to represent the House GOP in the lawsuit against unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act in its implementation. (RELATED: Boehner’s Obamacare Lawsuit Boosted By Liberal Law Professor)

Now that Turley’s working for the GOP, Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Robert Brady wants to ban him from speaking out any issue of executive authority — which Turley’s based much of his career on — for years.

“Given that Mr. Turley extensively participates in various media forums, including writing his own blog, would it not be better to prohibit Mr. Turley from making any media appearances in which he comments on the extent of the executive authority of the President in any context whatsoever during the pendency of this case?” Brady wrote Monday to Rep. Candice Miller, chairman of the House Administration Committee.

“Moreover, since the limitation appears to be in force only for the life of the contract, would it not better protect the interests of the House if Mr. Turley was prohibited from making statements, granting interviews or otherwise conferring with any member of the media or media organization for a period of years following the conclusion of this case?”

As part of his contract with the House of Representatives, Turley agreed not to speak to the media about the case itself. But Brady wants to extend that to pretty much anything critical of Obama’s use of executive power — especially convenient given the uproar concerning the White House’s announcement of executive amnesty just last week.

Turley has condemned that proposal as well.

“No president can take on the power of all three branches and that’s what he seems to be doing,” Turley said of the executive action before its announcement. Obama “certainly seems to be taking on legislative authority…that does become a government of one.”

Turley filed the official complaint against the Obama administration in United States House of Representatives v. Burwell on Friday. The lawsuit is targeting the administration’s unilateral decision to waive the employer mandate and penalties for not complying with it despite effective dates written into the Affordable Care Act and as well as its transfer of funds to insurance companies without an appropriation from Congress.

Rep. Brady also questioned whether Turley would “exploit” his law students by asking for their assistance in the case and asked that Turley’s contract be modified to “forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Given that two Washington-based law firms had backed out of representing the House after signing initial contracts, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch is already questioning whether Democrats had pressured the firms into dropping the case. Brady’s request to ban Turley from speaking on any issue — for years after the lawsuit is concluded, no less — is unlikely to ease any appearance of political pressure.

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