Lawsuits Have Rules The Hurdles That Face A Gop Lawsuit Against Obama

The Republican lawsuit against the Obama administration for failure to enforce aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been filed in retaliation for the the White House taking executive action regarding immigration.  However, there are now rules that the GOP now must now abide by -- The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). 

The FRCP provides very specific procedure for for getting rid of lawsuits that are filed for specious means and the GOP might have bitten off more than they can chew.  These rules may force the GOP out of court before they can ask a single question or demand a single document or hold a single deposition.

Unlike State courts, Federal courts have limited jurisdiction.  There must be a certain amount in controversy or have a unique Constitutional question.  A review of the complaint barely holds up to this minimum standard and might well be a quick way out for the administration.

 The (FRCP) is a set of 86 rules covering several large areas within trial law including starting cases, discovery, trial and post trial.  It provides a comprehensive back bone for matters before the Federal courts.

Among these include rule 12 entitled: "Defenses and Objections: When and How Presented; Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; Consolidating Motions; Waiving Defenses; Pretrial Hearing"  

Two specific sections 12(b) and 12(c) will likely give the GOP the most problems and will likely be the center piece of any defense the administration is likely to mount.

12(b) provides:

"(b) How to Present Defenses. Every defense to a claim for relief in any pleading must be asserted in the responsive pleading if one is required. But a party may assert the following defenses by motion:
(1) lack of subject-matter jurisdiction;
(2) lack of personal jurisdiction;
(3) improper venue;
(4) insufficient process;
(5) insufficient service of process;
(6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; and
(7) failure to join a party under Rule 19"

12(c) is the primary mechanism for dismissing cases even before an answer to a complaint is filed.  12(c) provides:

"(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. After the pleadings are closed—but early enough not to delay trial—a party may move for judgment on the pleadings."

Federal courts can hear cases that have unique federal questions or in disputes between people of 2 states with more than $75,000 in controversy.

Given all this there are likely 2 ways to trip up the GOP case by the time the first conference hearing is set:  There is no subject-matter jurisdiction and there will be a failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6).




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