The Obama administration was dealt a major blow on Thursday when federal district court judge Rosemary Collyer sided with House Republicans in their lawsuit against Obamacare, ruling that the administration violated the Constitution by circumventing Congress in making certain payments on behalf of the Affordable Care Act.

The lawsuit argued that the Obama administration didn’t seek the approval of Congress before giving billions of federal dollars to insurance companies to cover losses due to lowering the out-of-pocket expenses for its low-income customers signing up under the exchange. The administration countered, saying this appropriation was written into the same section of the law that allowed tax credits to help enrollees pay for coverage and that it didn’t need separate approval.

Thankfully, Judge Collyer set them straight:

“Such an appropriation cannot be inferred. None of Secretaries’ extra-textual arguments — whether based on economics, “unintended” results, or legislative history — is persuasive. The Court will enter judgment in favor of the House of Representatives and enjoin the use of unappropriated monies to fund reimbursements due to insurers under Section 1402.”

The judge then spelled it out in the clearest terms possible:

“Authorization and appropriation by Congress are non-negotiable prerequisites to government spending.”

This system of checks and balances is something the Obama administration has had a tough time submitting to and White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s reaction to the lawsuit confirms it:

“This suit represents the first time in our nation’s history that Congress has been permitted to sue the executive branch over a disagreement about how to interpret a statute.”

Weak. You can’t suddenly interpret the Constitution differently when its convenient for your case. President Obama has proven time and time again he’s not interested in following the law of the land and to the last day of his presidency, he intends to push his will on the American people. And the White House is confident Obama’s legacy will endure.

“This is not the first time that we’ve seen opponents of the Affordable Care Act go through the motions to try to win this political fight in the court system,” Earnest said. “They’ve been losing this fight for six years, and they’ll lose it again.”

Though this is a great day for lovers of the Constitution, the battle is far from over. The administration will appeal the ruling to the DC Circuit, who will likely overturn the lower court. This may make its way to the Supreme Court.

To add more drama to the proceedings, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, is the chief judge of the DC circuit of appeals… which means, this could get interesting indeed.

H/T The Hill

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About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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