Boehner to target Obama’s authority with legal challenge

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • Boehner plans legal challenge to Obama’s executive authority
  • McDaniel not throwing in the towel yet in Mississippi
  • Line Items: Wednesday’s Supreme Court decisions, Susan Collins supports same-sex marriage & RNC convention sites narrowed to Cleveland and Dallas

Boehner plans to sue Obama over executive action: House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that he intended to initiate a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s executive orders. “The Constitution makes it clear that a president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws. In my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws,” Boehner told reporters during a Capitol Hill news conference. The move comes after the president declared earlier this year that he would pursue a “pen and phone” strategy, using his executive authority to find ways to make progress on key agenda items without approval from congressional Republicans. Boehner did not name specific actions that would be contested. But GOP lawmakers have voiced opposition to Mr. Obama’s orders, which include the halting of deportations of immigrants living in the country illegally, delaying certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act and forcing coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon emissions. The House is expected to vote to move forward with the lawsuit next month. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday the threat of a lawsuit would not alter the president’s approach. “They are considering a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the president of the United States for doing his job,” Earnest said. Other Democrats contend Boehner’s effort is aimed at appeasing conservative lawmakers who have called for the president to be impeached. Boehner dismissed that suggestion, saying it was about “defending the institution.” With Republicans in control of the House, and eyeing a potential takeover of the Senate in November, the president is likely to face a tough sell when it comes to getting significant legislation through Congress for the rest of this year, and in all likelihood for the remainder of his term. And relations between the president and Republican lawmakers are unlikely to improve with the threat of a lawsuit hanging in the air. That leaves executive action as one of the best options at his disposal to try to shape his legacy over the next 2 1/2 years. The Washington Post’s Paul Kane notes the timing of the lawsuit might not have much of an effect on the president’s short-term strategy. “The lawsuit probably will take several years to wind through the federal courts, making it probable that it might have more impact on the executive authority of Obama’s successor,” Kane writes.

McDaniel won’t back down: The polls have closed, 100 percent of the results are in, but tea party-backed candidate Chris McDaniel is not giving up his fight to become the next senator from Mississippi. After his fiery “not-so-concession” concession speech Tuesday night, the state senator said he will challenge the election results. McDaniel told conservative radio host Mark Levin in an interview Wednesday, “We haven’t conceded, and we’re not going to concede.” He added that he believes Democrats, who voted Democratic in the June 3 primary, voted for veteran GOP Sen. Thad Cochran in this week’s runoff. If this turns out to be true, their votes would be considered invalid. There is little doubt, however, that Cochran benefited from the support of African-American voters on Tuesday. NewsHour political editor Domenico Montanaro noted Wednesday night: “If you look at the 24 majority African-American districts in the state, Cochran wound up gaining 10,000 votes out of that. His margin of victory was only 6,700 votes. So, right there, you can see where he made up that margin.” The conservative not-for-profit Independent Women’s Voice released a survey from Mississippi’s primary runoff Tuesday, which found that among voters who are “Usually Dem” Cochran defeated McDaniel 57 percent to 21 percent. Cochran also bested McDaniel among the “Split Ticket” voters by a similar margin. And although McDaniel has not accepted his loss, his supporters, including Freedom Works and Tea Party Patriots, have conceded Cochran’s win.

Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1963, President John Kennedy made his famous speech at the Berlin Wall. What was the memorable line he delivered in German?
Be the first to Tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to Joseph Iliff ‏(@SeekOutWisdom) for guessing Wednesday’s trivia: Who was the first president to marry in the White House? The answer was: Grover Cleveland.


  • President Obama will hold a town hall in Minneapolis, Minn. at 3:10 p.m. ET Thursday. In the evening, the president will attend a Congressional Campaign Committee fundraising event. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will also be in attendance.

  • Obama’s Minneapolis town hall will feature a woman who wrote to the president about the struggles to succeed in middle America due to the cost of living and raising a family. The trip is part of the White House’s day-in-the-life series, in which the president will travel around the country to meet with average Americans.

  • In the midst of worries that Democrats will lose control of the Senate, Mr. Obama met with Senate Democrats at the White House Wednesday night.

  • In a sweeping decision to protect privacy in the digital age, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that police need a warrant to search cell phones. Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal joined Gwen Ifill to look at their unanimous decision, as well as the court’s ruling in a case against Aereo, an Internet startup that sought to share broadcast network TV signals without paying a fee.

  • Between Georgia’s GOP primary and the upcoming runoff, The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Jim Galloway writes that Rep. Jack Kingston and GOP allies have given former Dollar General CEO David Perdue “an involuntary makeover” from an outsider to a dangerous stranger.

  • Tea party supporters in Tennessee and Washington are feeling emboldened by Mississippi’s GOP runoff and the fact Cochran had to rely on Democratic voters for his narrow victory — so much so that they’re confident state Rep. Joe Carr will defeat Sen. Lamar Alexander.

  • After the Human Rights Campaign endorsed Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, for the third time Wednesday,
    Collins announced her support for same-sex marriage.

  • The New Republic’s Danny Vinik writes that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., can’t be the GOP policy wonk he wants to be if he doesn’t admit that spending cuts — like new spending — create winners and losers.

  • The New York Times Magazine’s Jim Rutenberg goes hiking with Rep. Mark Sanford — across a plantation Sanford’s family owns and on the campaign trail — to see how the junior member of Congress from South Carolina is rebuilding his political career.

  • Under pressure from a federal court, the Chicago City Council decided unanimously Wednesday to allow gun shops in the city, but restricted their location and required store owners to videotape every firearm sale.

  • Yet another federal judge has struck down a state same-sex marriage ban for being unconstitutional. This time it was in Indiana.

  • A federal appeals court also ruled that Utah’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. This marks the first time an appeals court has ruled against same-sex marriage bans since the Supreme Court’s decision last June.

  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is blaming the federal government for the influx of illegal immigrants across the border. As a mother, she said, the situation of illegal immigrant children breaks her heart, but the White House needs to be more clear that the border is closed.

  • California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Wednesday that makes it quicker to fire public school teachers accused of egregious misconduct.

  • Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s re-election campaign has fired an intern who tried to infiltrate Democratic challenger Mark Schauer’s campaign.

  • Former Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, a twice-convicted felon, wants to run for a seventh term as an independent.

  • The Republican National Committee is down to two choices for their 2016 convention: Cleveland and Dallas. They’ll announce a final decision in early August.

  • Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.


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Questions or comments? Email Domenico Montanaro at dmontanaro-at-newshour-dot-org or Terence Burlij at tburlij-at-newshour-dot-org.

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