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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

 5:25 PM 

GOP members back Johnson's Obamacare appeal

Thirty-seven GOP members of Congress have filed an amicus brief supporting U.S. Sen Ron Johnson’s request for a federal appeals court to find he has standing to challenge an Obama administration ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

The members, which include U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida, argue the Obama administration has tried to rewrite Affordable Care Act “on a wholesale basis.” That includes a decision to allow the federal government to subsidize health insurance for lawmakers and some congressional staffers.

That decision has altered their personal health benefits in a way harmful to the members, denied their statutory right to equal treatment under the law and forced them to be complicity in illegal activity, the brief argues.

Johnson raised similar arguments in his suit, but a district court judge ruled he did not have standing to challenge the decision.

“When private citizens enter public service, they do not forfeit the right to seek redress in court for personal injuries suffered at the hands of the Executive Branch,” the lawmakers wrote.

No Wisconsin member signed onto the amicus brief.

A district court judge this summer rejected Johnson's lawsuit, finding much of the injuries alleged in the suit were speculative. Johnson has since appealed, but the case is not likely to be resolved ahead of the election.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals court last week granted a request from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to push back to Nov. 14 the deadline for its response brief to Johnson’s appeal. The senator will have until Dec. 12 to file a reply brief to that response, if he chooses.


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