It's not so easy, it turns out, for Congress to sue the president.
Speaker John Boehner is finding that out the hard way after a second law firm withdrew from representing the House in the Republican-led lawsuit against President Obama over his use—or overuse—of executive authority. William Burck of the Washington-based firm Quinn Emanuel pulled out of the case last month, not long after he signed a contract with the House to replace David Rifkin of BakerHostetler.
The yet-to-be-filed suit has become an embarrassment for the speaker after he led the House in a party-line vote to authorize legal action against Obama back in August. The lawsuit would accuse the president of exceeding his authority by delaying implementation of the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate without permission from Congress.
In both cases, according to sources working on the issue, the law firms succumbed to political pressure from Democratic clients who threatened to pull their business if the firms represented the House GOP in a partisan suit. Congressional Democrats had decried Boehner's move as a waste of taxpayer money. They also successfully parlayed the planned lawsuit into a fundraising boon by telling liberal supporters it was a prelude to impeachment, which Boehner insisted was not the case.