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Mark Levin Readies Lawsuit on Slaughter Rule

Liberty at risk, says talk show host, as he prepares suit against Obama, Holder: "Deem and pass" or "Demon Pass"?

By 3.18.10

Not so fast.

Democrats poised to use the so-called "deem and pass" strategy to force through a health care bill will have to deal with Mark Levin first.

Levin, known to his fans as one of the most popular talk show hosts in the country, is also both a legal scholar and longtime president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, a nonprofit, public interest law firm A former chief of staff to Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Levin is the author of two New York Times bestselling books on the Constitution and the judiciary, the last, Liberty and Tyranny, at number one for a dozen weeks.

The lawsuit will name President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and "other relevant cabinet members" as defendants. Those cabinet members are Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Levin's goal? To stop the government from "instituting this unconstitutional contrivance."

Said Levin:

Landmark has already prepared a lawsuit that will be filed in federal court the moment the House acts. Such a brazen violation of the core functions of Congress simply cannot be ignored. Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution is clear respecting the manner in which a bill becomes law. Members are required to vote on this bill, not claim they did when they didn't. The Speaker of the House and her lieutenants are temporary custodians of congressional authority. They are not empowered to do permanent violence to our Constitution.

The "Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief" begins by noting that "Landmark's employees receive healthcare through an employer healthcare plan sponsored and contributed to by Landmark."

In a move that would be hilarious if in fact it weren't so serious, Levin lists the specific section of the U.S. Constitution ("The Bicameralism and Presentment Clause of the Constitution of the United States") and cites the fact that it "mandates that 'Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States.…'"

The suit cites the source precisely as "U.S. Const. art. I, § 7, cl. 2." Which is to say, Levin is compelled to point out to the President of the United States and the Attorney General of the United States what every American school child learns in those little pamphlets with catchy titles like "How a Bill Becomes a Law." To wit: Both the House and the Senate must pass the bill before it can be signed into law by the president.

Levin goes go with this cite: "Article I, section 7, clause 2 further provides: 'But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively.'"

The lawsuit goes on, saying:

In or about March 2010, the Rules Committee of the House proposed a rule to the full House establishing the terms and conditions pursuant to which certain legislation would be considered by the House (the "Rule" or "Slaughter Rule"). The Rule provided that, upon adoption by the House on a vote of the yeas and nays of one bill (the "Reconciliation Bill"), an entirely different bill, H.R. 3590 (the "Senate Bill") would be "deemed approved" by the House.

If Nancy Pelosi twists enough arms to get this "passed" the lawsuit, in decidedly legal language as dry as it is un-Levin-like, says:

In or about March 2010, the House approved the Reconciliation Bill. The House has never voted on the Senate Bill. The President has stated his intention to sign into law the Senate Bill upon presentment to him.

Don't let the dryness of this language fool you. Plainly stated, Levin is saying bluntly that a piece of major legislation, legislation that could reduce a huge chunk of the American economy to economic chaos, is being "passed" into law with only one House of Congress, the U.S. Senate, approving. And that the President of the United States intends to affix his signature, in a deliberate violation of the Constitution, to this "Senate Bill upon presentment to him."

Levin accuses Obama and Holder of intending to deprive Americans of their Fifth Amendment guarantee to "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." He adds that, "Under color of law, the Defendants intend to collect taxes, remove and replace insurance benefits, and re-write health insurance contracts affecting Plaintiffs and Landmark's employees."

In addition, the suit says things that used to come out of old political novels with titles like Seven Days in May, a 1960s potboiler about a proposed military coup to take over the U.S. government. But this is no novel, and Levin is precise: "Two branches of the United States Government have and are presently intending to transgress the requirements of the U.S. Constitution, rendering the liberty of United States citizens at stake."

Say that again: "Rendering the liberty of United States citizens at stake."

"Under color of law," it continues, "the Defendants intend to collect taxes, remove and replace insurance benefits, and re-write health insurance contracts affecting Plaintiffs and Landmark's employees."

This is a stunning document, all the more so because Levin is both seriously credible on matters constitutional -- and there is a dawning recognition on the part of the American people just how serious the assault on their liberties is in fact.

Says the suit: "The Constitutionally protected liberty interests of the American public are at risk."

In short, this lawsuit means that Mark Levin has just opened round two in the furious struggle the American people are making to hold onto to their constitutional rights.

Will the suit be filed? Will the bill make it through on this "deem and pass" charade? (Or is that "demon pass"?)

Still too soon to say.

But if it does, Mark Levin is ready.

And it is safe to say, he will without doubt find a lot of Americans cheering him on.

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About the Author
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director, an author, and a CNN commentator. He writes from Pennsylvania at and @Jeffjlpa1.