Federal Judge Dismisses Sen. Johnson’s Lawsuit Against Obama Administration

Johnson Had Argued That Health Care Subsidies For Congress And Congressional Staff Personally Injured Him

Sen. Ron Johnson during a recent town hall meeting. Photo: Shawn Johnson/WPR News.

A federal judge in Green Bay ruled on Monday that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) has no standing to sue the Obama administration for giving subsidies to members of Congress and their staff to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

When Johnson sued the Obama administration’s Office of Personnel Management, he argued he’d been injured by the health care benefit because it created an administrative burden, because it forced him to participate in what he described as “an unlawful scheme,” and because it gave him a benefit his constituents don’t have.

Judge William Griesbach rejected all three arguments, ultimately ruling that without any actually injury, Johnson lacked the standing to sue.

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Any administrative burden, Griesbach wrote, “would be purely self-imposed” since Johnson was not actually required to make any decisions at all.

Johnson’s “personal belief that a regulation is unlawful,” wrote Griesbach, “is not itself an ‘injury’”. And given that Johnson received, “at worst, a benefit,” Griesbach wrote that he could not claim to be injured.

Johnson issued a written statement after the ruling saying the court had granted the Obama administration’s motion to dismiss based on a “legal technicality.” Johnson said his legal team would review the decision before deciding their next step.

You can read Griesbach’s ruling here.

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