GOP Senator Will Appeal After Judge Rejected His Anti-Obamacare Lawsuit

August 4, 2014 1:21 pm

After getting bounced be a federal judge, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is continuing his fight against allowing the federal government to help pay the insurance premiums for members of Congress and their staffs under Obamacare. He plans to appeal a ruling last month by a federal judge who dismissed the case because Johnson had no reason to sue.

Johnson announced his plans Monday in an op-ed for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. He is challenging an Obama administration rule that allows members of Congress and staff to continue receiving the money the federal governments pays toward their insurance premiums when they purchase health coverage on Obamacare’s insurance exchanges. A provision of the original Obamacare law, pushed by Republicans, requires members and their staffs to participate in the exchanges.

Johnson’s case was rejected by U.S. District Judge William Griesbach on July 22. Griesbach ruled that Johnson did not have legal standing to challenge the rule because he was receiving “at worst, a benefit.”

Johnson said in the op-ed that he would file his appeal on Monday. As The Hill noted, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the case.

Johnson has argued that the administration’s rule bestows “favored status” on Congress and could even hurt him politically by driving a wedge between himself and his constituents. In his Monday op-ed, Johnson placed his case alongside other legal challenges to Obamacare and President Barack Obama’s executive actions and made reference to “this administration’s lawlessness.”

“If a member of Congress does not have standing in this case, who does?” he wrote. “And if no one has standing to force the administration to faithfully execute the law, how can the rule of law be maintained?”

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