Pelosi Tactic for Health-Care Vote Would Raise Legal Questions - Bloomberg.com
By Greg Stohr
March 18 (Bloomberg) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be creating new grounds for a court challenge to the proposed U.S. health-care overhaul as she considers using a mechanism that would avoid a vote on the full legislation.
Pelosi said this week she might use a parliamentary technique that would “deem” House members to have passed the Senate’s health-care plan by voting for a more politically palatable package of changes.
Some legal scholars question whether that approach can be squared with the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s 1998 declaration that the two houses of Congress must approve “precisely the same text” before a bill can become a law.
“Any process that does not result in the House taking of yays and nays on statutory text identical to what passed the Senate is constitutionally problematic,” said Jonathan Adler, a professor who runs the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University’s law school in Cleveland.