Where’s the Suit, Redux?

October 31, 2014

Where’s the suit? (A long, long time ago, 30 years ago, an old lady a sweet older woman named Clara Peller did advertisements for Wendy’s restaurants, asking “where’s the beef?” Ms. Peller was looking for substance—red meat, not buns—from Wendy’s competitors, and the theme was picked up by former Vice President Walter Mondale in his primary fight with Senator Gary Hart.)

I’ve written about the suit on July 11, August 2, and on August 10 in Where’s the Lawsuit? For those with short memories, the suit is the lawsuit the House Republicans made all kinds of noise about all the way back in the summer of 2014. Well, it snowed in Chicago on October 31. (My daughter, who lives slightly more than a well-hit driver away from Illinois, called today to complain about the weather, and tell me she did very well on a problem set in solid state chemistry. Woo Hoo!) So we’ve passed from summer, through fall in some places, right on into winter. And about that lawsuit?

Well, it hasn’t been filed yet, and lawsuits are creatures of rules. They must be filed or they don’t exist!

Here’s More Turmoil for House GOP Lawsuit against Obama by Josh Gerstein and Maggie Haberman for Politico—a “leans right” site—on October 29, updating everyone about the suit. Bottom line? The United States House of Representatives cannot find a law firm to represent it. Wow! Just f*cking wow! All this noise and carrying on about “we’re going to sue/law this guy,” and with about 2,000,000 attorneys in the country, many of them underemployed, the House can’t find someone to handle the case.

Careful readers, which includes anyone who clicks on the links, will note that two firms got involved and backed off after other clients objected. Rant if you want to, but in my experiences with two law firms, this happens often enough, usually at the outset. And there are plenty of firms whose clientele is sufficiently limited that the “existing client upset” issue will be non-existent.

What has happened here reflects the lack of seriousness associated with Republicans in Congress. (This was a House activity, but it’s consistent with actions taken by Senate Republicans.) These people won the news cycles associated with threatening the suit and passing the resolution approving suing President Barack Obama. Then, reality bit them! “My, oh my, whatever shall we do now,” you can hear them saying. “If we find a law firm and sue, this steaming puddle of claptrap will get dismissed in a heartbeat, or at least that’s what our competent attorneys tell us. We can blame the judge, maybe, but he might be a Reagan or Bush appointee. Then what?”

I’m not unaware of politics and how stuff works. This suit was all about headlines, and about not much more. Smart people even forgot about the fact that no lawsuit was filed. (Just before I left the Laurence Tribe lecture a week ago Monday, I reminded Professor Tribe that his comment about the House suing President Obama lacked a factual basis.) Fortunately, the media has kept an eye on the situation.

Lawsuits can generally be prepared in a couple of hours, depending on their complexity. And when I tell someone a suit may be coming, it’s already prepared (and often enclosed, to show seriousness of purpose), or will be prepared post haste. Here, House Republicans have made a mockery of their own resolution, for after more than 90 days, they don‘t even have an attorney, much less a suit on file. And these people think they should get the keys to the country? Really?




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