Via the Associated Press:
A federal judge has cleared the way for a legal challenge by Congressional Republicans to President Obama’s health care law to proceed.
U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ruled Wednesday that the House can pursue its claim that the administration violated the Constitution when it spent public money that was not appropriated by Congress. At issue is the more than $175 billion the government is paying health insurance companies over a decade to reimburse them for offering lower health care co-payments for poor people.
The House argues that Congress never specifically approved spending that money, and denied the administration’s request for it. The Obama administration insists it is instead relying on previously allocated money that it is allowed to use.
If there is ever going to be a full or partial takedown of this monstrosity, it is going to have to happen over a technicality that even John Roberts can’t pretend means something else. This point is a pretty big technicality, given that the executive branch can’t spend money it’s been denied. That, however, was the kind of argument that could be made back in the day when the three branches of government weren’t hell-bent on ignoring their constitutional boundaries.
Chief Justice Roberts may have been able to infer meaning from a one word slip-up, but it will be more difficult for him to wantonly rewrite the Constitution.