A federal appeals court threw out a lawsuit by a group of conservative doctors who sued the Obama administration for violating the Obamacare statute by delaying the employer mandate.
A three-judge panel on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously affirmed a lower court decision that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons lacked standing to sue because they failed to prove that the administration’s move would harm them.
“In a market economy everything is connected to everything else through the price system. To allow a long, intermediated chain of effects to establish standing is to abolish the standing requirement as a practical matter,” Judge Frank H. Easterbrook wrote for a three-judge panel of Republican appointees.
Notably, the lawsuit is similar to the one that the Republican-led House voted to authorize against Obama in July. GOP leaders say they plan to sue the president over the one-year delay of the employer mandate, although they’ve left some wiggle room to target another piece of Obamacare.
Legal experts say House Republicans will have a hard time achieving standing, which is required in order for the case to be heard on the merits. Their argument for standing is different, though, than the doctors’ claim: Republicans say Obama’s end-run around Congress threatens the separation of powers.
“The Supreme Court does not think that the Constitution’s structural features are open to litigation by persons who do not suffer particularized injuries,” Easterbrook wrote for the 7th Circuit panel.
The doctors association that brought the lawsuit said in 2011 its goal is “to fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine.” Prominent members have included former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and current Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).
[h/t Politico’s Jen Haberkorn]