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Four cities sue Trump saying ObamaCare 'sabotage' violates Constitution

Four cities sue Trump saying ObamaCare 'sabotage' violates Constitution
© Anna Moneymaker

Four cities on Thursday sued President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California MORE, arguing that he is violating his constitutional duty to enforce the law by “sabotaging” ObamaCare.

The cities of Baltimore, Chicago, Columbus and Cincinnati filed the lawsuit in federal court in Maryland, arguing that Trump’s actions against the Affordable Care Act violate the Constitution’s provision that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

The lawsuit states that Trump’s actions are “an affront to the rule of law: to our constitutional system, under which Congress enacts laws and the President faithfully implements them.”

The lawsuit points to a range of administration actions in arguing its case, including that it expanded  insurance options that do not comply with the health-care law's rules, that it cut funding for outreach to help people sign up for coverage, and that it shortened the sign-up period for ObamaCare.

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Democrats have long criticized those moves and say they have resulted in higher premiums. They are making this argument a centerpiece of their strategy for winning the midterm elections.

The lawsuit cites Trump’s own words against ObamaCare. “President Trump and his Administration have been remarkably transparent about their intent and their approach,” it states.

It cites Trump statements like “we are getting rid of ObamaCare,” and “essentially, we have gotten rid of it” to argue that Trump has sabotaged the law.

The communities could face a difficult task in winning their case, however.

Abbe Gluck, a Yale Law School professor who supports the ACA, wrote in Vox this month that cases arguing the president is not faithfully executing laws are a “tall order because the executive is often vested with broad discretion to implement the law.”

She said that in this specific instance, though, she does think the case has a good chance of succeeding because of how clear Trump has been about what he is trying to do. 

“But it is impossible to recall a president who has been as clear about his intent to sabotage a major federal law as this president has been about his intent with respect to the ACA,” she added.

This story was updated at 11:52 a.m. on Friday.