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Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., proposed a bill (H.R. 3857) that would allow the House and Senate to sue an Administration for failing to enforce the law or violating the Constitution. Gerlach says the legislation is needed due to “unparalleled use of executive discretion to selectively apply or enforce duly-enacted laws,” including immigration laws.

Gerlach said the Obama Administration’s actions "have not only exceeded the rights and responsibilities bestowed on a president by the U.S. Constitution, but they have undermined the collective work that Congress constitutionally fulfills under Article I. The U.S. Code is not an a la carte menu compiled to serve the whims of a president and federal agencies — and no president or executive agency, regardless of political party or affiliation — should be able to simply pick and choose the laws they believe should be enforced based on their policy agenda or political wants."

H.R. 3857 would give the House and Senate authority to file in court for "declaratory and injunctive relief to compel the president to faithfully execute" specific laws. Both chambers would first have to pass a resolution supported by 60 percent of all members present and voting. The federal District Court in Washington D.C. would have to fast track a case (decision within 90 days after filing), which could be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

In an interview with the Capitol newspaper The Hill, Gerlach said his legislation would enable the Supreme Court to weigh in quickly on such issues. "We think it's the right balance between policy and politics within the legislative body," he said.

Barack Obama
congress
enforcement
constitutionality