Judicial Watch • kawa orthodontics

kawa orthodontics Archives | Judicial Watch

January 24, 2014

 

Judicial Watch Continues Challenge against Obama Lawlessness

 

On January 13, 2013, a federal court scuttled Judicial Watch’s lawsuit on behalf of Kawa Orthodontics’ challenge to the Obama administration’s decision to delay the enactment of the so-called “employer mandate” provision of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. But we’re not going away that easily. This is too important. So we immediately filed a notice of appeal, and we will take this as far as we need to go until justice is served.

 

(The U.S. Department of Treasury, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, the Internal Revenue Service and IRS Director Daniel Werfel are named as defendants in the lawsuit, originally filed on October 1, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.)

 

Here’s the crux of our argument: President Obama’s unilateral postponement of the employer mandate from January 1, 2014, to 2015 violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), was “arbitrary and capricious,” and caused Kawa Orthodontics to lose “the value of its substantial efforts” in preparing for the mandate as originally scheduled.

 

And what did the court say in response to these arguments with its dismissal?  Absolutely nothing. On January 13, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas, in a brief opinion, dismissed the lawsuit on “standing” grounds.

 

Before we get to the background of this lawsuit and the constitutional issues at play, let me address this issue of “standing.” In order for Kawa Orthodontics to meet the “standing” threshold to bring this lawsuit, he must meet three basic requirements under Article III of the Constitution: (1) “injury in fact” (2) “a causal connection between the injury in fact and the challenged action of the defendant,” and (3) that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.”

 

Does Kawa Orthodontics meet these requirements? Judge for yourself.

 

According to the Judicial Watch legal filings, the unlawful delay of the “employer mandate” has caused Kawa Orthodontics “to lose the substantial time and resources it expended and the significant opportunity costs it incurred in anticipation of” the controversial provision now scheduled to take effect beginning next year.

 

The company estimates that it could have generated approximately $1.2 million in new revenue for its practice had it not spent approximately 100 hours of time determining how best to comply with the “employer mandate.”

 

So that takes care of “injury in fact” and “a causal connection.” With respect to redressing the injury, our lawsuit seeks the original reinstatement of the original date for the mandate. If granted, Kawa Orthodontics’ considerable expenditures to prepare for the mandate will not have been wasted. The offense will have been remedied.

 

So we are confident that Kawa Orthodontics has standing. Now, to review how this wound up in court.

 

The Obamacare employer mandate, which subjects certain large employers to tax penalties if they do not offer “affordable, minimum essential” health insurance coverage to their employees, is considered “a major pillar of the ACA.” By law, the mandate was required to take effect January 1, 2014.  On July 2, 2013, however, the Obama administration postponed the mandate without the approval of Congress.

 

And this was not the first time.

 

The Obama administration has now unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law at least 16 times by executive fiat. The changes include such major overhauls as the congressional opt-out, eviscerating the individual mandate, and delaying the employer mandate. The latest rewrite occurred on December 20, 2013, when the administration allowed hundreds of thousands of people who had lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bones “catastrophic” plans that are expressly prohibited by the Obamacare law.

 

It’s very clear why President Obama has resorted to these extra-constitutional means to avoid the unpleasant consequences of Obamacare. He’s a politician. And he knows that his unpopular health care overhaul will lead to disastrous political results he’d rather delay as long as he can. The problem is the Obama administration is operating outside of the law. And businesses are suffering.

 

The Agency for Health Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that the number of employers in the United States having more than 50 employees is as high as 1.6 million, each of which could be affected as well.

 

You can see how the numbers can begin to add up. And on this point, a July 30, 2013, letter from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office to the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives, states that the delay of the “employer mandate” will result in an estimated loss of $10 billion (that’s “billion” with a “b”!) in penalty payments by employers and approximately 1 million fewer people are expected to be enrolled in employment-based coverage in 2014 than the number previously projected, primarily because of the one-year delay in penalties on employers.

 

In a December 2013 Motion for Summary Judgment, Judicial Watch attorneys, arguing on behalf of Kawa Orthodontics stated:

 

This lawsuit raises a single, straightforward legal question: does the Executive Branch have authority to ignore a clear, congressionally-imposed deadline affecting hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees across the country on a matter of unquestionable importance? … The answer to the question posed by this lawsuit is quite plainly “No.” Defendants’ delay of the mandate violates the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”). It exceeds Defendants’ statutory jurisdiction, authority, and limitations, is contrary to constitutional right, power, or privilege, and is otherwise not in accordance with law.

 

The court did not get to these issues. Kawa Orthodontics continues its challenge to Obama’s rewrite of Obamacare because the court is so plainly wrong. If President Obama truly wants to fix Obamacare, he will have to go through Congress.  He may “have a pen,” but he ought to use it to sign a repeal of his law that had been passed by Congress.

 

Dr. Kawa, meanwhile, puts the lawsuit in perspective: “With over 300 million people and 16 illegal changes there’s only been one lawsuit with one plaintiff that has been filed and continues to be adjudicated. The administration doesn’t want to defend its actions on the merits and is trying to prevent us from having our day in court. The administration presented no credible legal precedent for Obama’s delay of the employer mandate. This single lawsuit could do more to rein in Obama’s lawless actions than anything going in Congress right now. We expect the courts will ultimately rule in our favor and remind this president that he is not above the law.”

 

Obama, Biden Presidents’ Day Weekend Vacations Cost Taxpayers $295,437 According to Records Obtained by Judicial Watch

 

The Obama administration is expert at inventing bogus new exemptions in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) law. There is the infamous “spiking the football” exemption (AKA as the “offending the terrorists” exemption) that I referenced last week that was used to keep the bin Laden death images secret.  Unfortunately, the courts bought that one.

 

And then there is the embarrassment exemption. We’ve seen this one employed on too many occasions to count. Any records that might cause damage to the image of the president and his administration are held under lock and key.

 

That’s why Judicial Watch has had to fight so hard to get hold of the administration’s vacation travel records. Thanks to our investigations team, we’ve been extremely successful in breaking through the Obama stonewall in order to tally the cost to the American taxpayer of these personal trips. And we recently did it again.

 

This week JW released U.S. Secret Service records from the Department of Homeland Security detailing expenditures of $295,437.04 by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden during separate luxury vacations over the 2013 Presidents’ Day Weekend. A separate group of documents shows that taxpayers paid more than $1,000,000 for Michelle Obama’s controversial 2011 trip to South Africa and Botswana.

 

President Obama spent the Presidents’ Day Weekend (February 15-18) on a golf trip in West Palm Beach, Florida. First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters spent the same holiday weekend on a ski trip in Aspen, Colorado. Vice President Biden and his family spent that weekend skiing in Aspen.

 

Once again, we had to sue for these records, filing a FOIA lawsuit on June 21, 2013, against the U.S. Secret Service. According to the billing records, here’s the bang you got for your taxpayer buck:

 

  • Transportation and lodging costs for the President’s trip totaled $98,135.79. This includes $32,406.50 for the flights, $16,466.25 for rental cars, and $48,490 for hotel rooms.

 

  • The vacation costs for First Lady Michelle Obama totaled $81,523.64, including $13,221.30 in flights, $3,925 in rental cars, and $64,377.34 in lodging.

 

  • The expenses for Vice President Biden’s weekend in Aspen totaled $115,777.61, including $5,315 in flights, $92,596 in accommodations, and $17,866.61 in rental cars.

 

With respect to the infamous “safari” trip, even though we filed our lawsuit back on October 4, 2011, we are just now getting records detailing the full costs of the June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by Michelle Obama, her family, and her staff to South Africa and Botswana.

 

According to this most recent batch of records obtained from the United States Air Force, during the six-day trip the First Lady and her entourage spent $668.702.01, including hotel and lodging costs of $430,614.18. The trip ended with a private family safari at a South African game reserve.

 

This $668,702.01 expenditure was in addition to the $424,142 taxpayers were billed for the cost of the flight and crew, according to earlier documents obtained by Judicial Watch, jacking the total cost of the trip over $1 million.

 

After all of our litigating and investigating these travel records, this much is clear: The Obamas and Vice President Biden do not seem to care a whit about sticking taxpayers with the bill for their vacation travel. But they care very much about keeping these costs secret. The stonewalling over releasing these travel numbers suggests that the Obama administration is embarrassed by the personal travel of President Obama and Vice President Biden. And rightly so.

 

However, I’ll say it again: Embarrassment is not a valid reason to exempt documents from disclosure. In fact, quite the opposite. Often the most embarrassing documents shed light on the most egregious abuses of the public trust. And this is the very reason for FOIA law! To allow the American people to know the government’s business so that corrupt and abusive activities can be exposed and discouraged.

 

Stay tuned. I get the notion that the First and Second Families have more luxury travel plans in their future.

 

McDonnell, Christie in Hot Water

 

A pair of once high-rising politicians has recently experienced a precipitous fall of late. One, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, was indicted for improperly accepting thousands of dollars in gifts from a supporter who sought his help. The other, the current Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, is embroiled in a scandal that involves the alleged abuse of his office to punish his political adversaries.

 

First, let’s talk about the newly indicted former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Per MSNBC:

 

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were charged in federal court on Tuesday for allegedly taking tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts while in office from a supporter who sought help from the state government.

 

McDonnell held a press conference with his wife and one of his daughters by his side on Tuesday evening, insisting he was “falsely and wrongly accused.”

 

During his final State of the Commonwealth address earlier this month, McDonnell – who repaid the money and returned the gifts – apologized for the “problems and pain I’ve caused this past year.” Some of the gifts allegedly included a $6,500 Rolex watch, $10,000 worth of Oscar de la Renta clothing and $15,000 for his daughter’s wedding expenses.

 

The “supporter” referenced in the report is Jonnie Williams, a former chief executive of the diet supplement company Star Scientific Inc.

 

McDonnell defended his decision to accept the gifts by saying he believed they were made out of Williams’ “personal generosity and friendship” and not in any attempt to curry favor. He knows better. When you are a public official there really is no such thing as an innocent gesture of “personal generosity” – at least so far as the public is concerned. Even the appearance of impropriety in these situations is reason enough to say “no thank you.”

 

However, in this case, this gesture of “personal generosity” was evidently accompanied by a gesture in turn by the former Governor, to persuade universities to study the efficacy of Star Scientific products, according to the 14-count indictment. So it’s a hard argument to buy that the Rolex watch did not come with any strings attached, even if merely implied.

 

Now, with respect to Governor Christie, you can check out this excellent summary by The Washington Post to get all of the details related to what is now being referred to as “Bridgegate.” But here’s the deal in a nutshell, courtesy of the Post:

 

Last September, the Port Authority announced a traffic study would shut down two lanes of the George Washington Bridge. Massive traffic jams ensued in Fort Lee, the town connected to New York City via the bridge. Reporting by The Wall Street Journal and the Bergen Record revealed that the traffic delays might have had a somewhat more sinister origin. Fort Lee’s mayor, Democrat Mark Sokolich, failed to endorse Christie prior to November’s gubernatorial election. Christie still won by 22 percent, but his deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly still thought it wise to email Port Authority and tell them it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”  It’s not clear what the lane closures were payback for but judging from Kelly’s tone they were payback for something.

 

Christie maintained from the outset that there was nothing political about the bridge closing, and defended his staff. It was all part of the aforementioned traffic study. But the emails suggest a different and disturbing story.

 

(In a second emerging scandal, it is alleged that Governor Christie’s office also withheld Hurricane Sandy relief from the City of Hoboken for political reasons. Hoboken is a heavily Democratic district.)

 

Now, does closing a bridge and creating a traffic jam rise to the level of, say, using the Internal Revenue Service to kill off the Tea Party for political payback (as the evidence shows the Obama administration has done)?

 

And in the case of McDonnell, does accepting a Rolex watch, allegedly in exchange for urging a university study, rise to the same level of, say, the extortion and favors for donors in Obama’s multi-billion dollar Solyndra and green energy scandals.

 

Not even in the same zip code.

 

And the fact that the corrupt Obama Justice Department indicted McDonnell and his wife – and is pursuing Christie like a bird dog – does not inspire confidence in the fair administration of justice. Where are the IRS indictments?  Fast and Furious?  Voter fraud?

 

Both Christie and McDonnell have been considered political stars on the rise, suitable candidates to one day occupy the White House, perhaps as soon as 2016. Voters will now wonder if they cannot be trusted with the responsibility of power in the Governor’s mansion – and this is still a big “if” as these investigations are ongoing – what happens should they get to the Oval Office?

 

Look no further than our current presidential administration for answers to that question. The Obama White House has embraced “The Chicago Way” that characterized President Obama’s rise to power and jacked it up with steroids, putting our country, our Constitution and our way of life at risk.

 

Until next week…

Judicial Watch Files Suit on behalf of Kawa Orthodontics to Overturn Delay of Obamacare Employer Mandate

Here we are. Day four of the Obamacare occupation and our government-run health insurance “market” is in complete chaos. A massive system breakdown – or a “glitch” if you believe Obama – has caused mass frustration for consumers trying to wrap their heads around the behemoth healthcare overhaul and what it means for them and their families.  I know that we tried to check out the health insurance options for Judicial Watch, but we were stymied by an impenetrable DC government Internet site.  I tried to look as a consumer, and was told that I could not even window shop without giving away personal information about my family and me.  No thanks to that!

If you would like to receive weekly emails updating you about all of our efforts to fight corruption, please sign up here.
* Email  
* State:

The federal government, meanwhile, has been partly shut down because Obama refuses to yield any ground to a brave band of conservatives who are adamant that the destructive Obamacare legislation be “delayed, defunded, repealed and replaced.”

And in this red-hot environment Judicial Watch moved to undertake a key lawsuit to stand against this president’s abuse of office.

On Tuesday, at a press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, JW announced the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa of Kawa Orthodontics against the U.S. Department of Treasury, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, the Internal Revenue Service and IRS Director Daniel Werfel.

Dr. Kawa is challenging the Obama administration’s decision to delay the enactment of the so-called “employer mandate” provision of Obamacare.

Our lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of the Boca Raton based company, argues that the delay of the employer mandate “exceeded [the Obama administration’s] statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law, and is otherwise unlawful.”

Now, as you probably know by now, the employer mandate, which subjects certain large employers to tax penalties if they do not offer “affordable,” “minimum essential” health insurance coverage to their employees, is “one of the pillars” of Obamacare – and one of its most controversial tenets.

By law, the mandate was required to take effect January 1, 2014.  On July 2, 2013, however, the Obama administration officially postponed the mandate. And here’s why this is a problem for Kawa Orthodontics, and the 200,000 (at least!) other large employers in the U.S.: These companies invested substantial resources and effort to prepare for the controversial provision, which now won’t take effect for another year.

Per the complaint:

“[Kawa Orthodontics] expended substantial time and resources, including money spent on legal fees and other costs, in preparation for the ‘employer mandate’ taking effect on January 1, 2014….[The company] would not have expended its time and resources and incurred these anticipatory costs in 2013 if the mandate had not been scheduled to take effect until 2015, but instead would have spent its time, resources, and money on other priorities.”

Kawa Orthodontics employs more than 70 full-time employees in Florida. The company is owned by orthodontist Larry Kawa, a longtime Florida resident and hardworking American community business leader, who expressed the feelings of numerous businesspeople across America in a statement to the press: “I am tired of Washington, DC, picking winners and losers and giving preferential treatment to those inside the Beltway.  This is just more of DC career politicians protecting their own.”

With respect to JW’s legal argument, the complaint alleges that the decision to delay the employer mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which forbids “agency action” that exceeds an agency’s statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law. In other words, the president simply can’t change a law because it might be politically (or otherwise) inconvenient. The complaint asks the court to enter a judgment declaring the delay to be unlawful and an injunction prohibiting the delay.

Now, allow me to address a question that must be running through your mind: Doesn’t Judicial Watch oppose the employer mandate?

Yes, we do. We object to the employer mandate and the entire Obamacare law, which is why we filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging its constitutionality. But we also understand that, under the U.S. Constitution, the law can only be changed by legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president.

And to paraphrase Ulysses S. Grant, the best way to ensure the repeal of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously.

Obama’s decision to delay the employer mandate is a flagrantly transparent attempt to delay the damage of his health care scheme until after the 2014 congressional elections.  But politics do not trump the Constitution or the rule of law. And that is why we are in court.

You can view the press conference in its entirety here.  You can see how Judicial Watch and Dr. Kawa are great partners in this effort to hold Obama to account.

More in the coming weeks!

Obama Administration Bars WW2 Vets from Their Memorial, Judicial Watch Demands Answers

Evidently, we can now add “World War II veterans” to the list of the Obama administration’s political enemies.

On Wednesday, the National Park Service blocked access to the national memorials and attempted to arrest World War II veterans who were in town visiting their memorial for the first and likely last time as part of a program called Honor Flight.

Park Service officers say the Obama administration ordered the barricades, citing the government shut down. (See story and JW photos here.) But there is no legal justification for closing the memorials, which is open to the public 24 hours a day, much less arresting war heroes. The memorial was paid for with private donations, and the government is actually spending more money to keep it closed than to allow it to be open!

And it’s not just memorials in DC:  “Visitors have not been able to pay their respects to the 9,387 military dead at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach since the U.S. government shut it down on Monday,” The Associated Press reported.

As I said in an interview with OneNewsNow, this is Chicago-style politics at its worst: “It’s like a Chicago ward operation running our government here in Washington, DC. They’re spending money to try to punish political enemies – and seemingly the administration considers its political enemies to be veterans and tourists trying to come and visit Washington. We saw the shutting down of open-air memorials as an outrage.”

Of course the veterans would have none of it. They pushed past the barricades and National Park Service security and continued their mission to see the World War II memorial built to honor their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of those who list their lives in battle. (I understand that patriotic police on the scene pretended not to see what was going on.)

I can tell as soon as we heard, Judicial Watch has initiated an investigation literally within an hour. We filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of the Interior to find out how and why this ridiculous decision was made. And who made it.

I can tell you that I about blew a gasket when I heard what was going on.  I know that we have many veterans on staff and thousands who support our work.  I personally went to the WW II Memorial to investigate.  While I was there Wednesday afternoon, I counted at least six National Park Service personnel and three vehicles being used to secure the site from visiting veterans and tourists.  (I also saw at least one active Navy seaman there to visit and unable to enter the Memorial).  The Park Service personnel had placed metal ties on the fencing to keep them in place.  I witnessed Park Service employees also placing sand bags to help secure the fencing!  (Here are some pictures I took at the scene for you to see.)

News regarding the Obama barricades is breaking by the hour. And I will have more for you as events develop.

I don’t know how the government fiscal battles are going to be resolved but I do think one thing should result from this:  Clean house at the Interior Department and the National Park Service.  And any White House official involved in desecrating – yes, I consider it to be desecration – these war memorials and military cemeteries should lose their jobs.

Sued: Pentagon for Mikey Weinstein documents, Anti-Christian Activist Who Compares Evangelicals with Taliban and al-Qaeda

Last week I told you about a Judicial Watch lawsuit seeking records from the Obama Defense Department regarding the U.S. Air Force’s decision to remove the words “So help me God” from the oath given to USAF inductees.

This shocking departure from history and the U.S. Constitution may seem from left field for many of you. But it will make more sense when you learn a little bit about the type of radical atheists who are repeatedly granted an audience with top Pentagon brass.

On September 10, 2013, JW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Department of Defense seeking “all records and communications” between the Pentagon and Military Religious Freedom Foundation founder Mikey Weinstein.

And who is Mikey Weinstein? Well, to say he is a controversial activist is an understatement. He has compared evangelicals with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and has called for the court martial of Christian chaplains. Actually, gets worse. Per Breitbart.com, Weinstein has called Christians “monsters” imposing a “rapacious reign of theocratic terror” and says sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military an act of “sedition and treason” that must be punished.

To me these sound like the rantings of someone with a serious mental illness. But evidently, to Defense officials, this was a man who deserved an audience with leaders inside the Pentagon – more than once!

As reported by The Washington Post, on May 23, 2013, Weinstein met with a group of top Pentagon officials, including the Air Force Judge Advocate General, other generals, and a military chaplain, to discuss his concerns about religious issues in the U.S. military. After Breitbart broke the story of the high-level meeting, the Pentagon sent out an email suggesting it was a one-time event, admitting only to a single meeting on April 23, 2013. Further investigation, however, revealed that it may have been part of a continuing relationship dating back to the beginning of the Obama administration.

For example, on March 1, 2009, the New York Times reported that Weinstein met with the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwarz, on February 24, 2009. The story noted this was the first time Weinstein and MRFF had “gotten an audience with a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

Weinstein has a long history of opposing the exercise of religious liberty in the military, including, according to the New York Times, “official military retreats at off-base churches, the appearance of uniformed officers at religious events, displays of crucifixes at military chapels in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the practice of ‘dipping’ the American flag at the altar of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., among others.”

In a Huffington Post article entitled “The Pentagon Most Certainly is Listening to Mikey Weinstein,” Chris Rodda, the senior research director at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, reinforced Weinstein’s relationship with the Pentagon, boasting that he forced Idaho’s Mountain Home Air Force Base to remove an inspirational piece of artwork from its dining facility with a single phone call:

Mikey immediately called the Pentagon because, you know, he can do that (to the obvious consternation of the folks at breitbart.com, certain members of Congress, and other modern-day Christian crusaders).

“Fifty-six minutes after his call to the Pentagon, the image of the crusader, with its odious melding of the crusader flag with the American flag, had been removed from the dining hall.”

Once again, we are seeing the continuation of a disturbing trend with this Obama administration, where radical leftists are given prominent seats at the table inside the Obama administration, helping to craft policies that impact all Americans and undermine the U.S. Constitution.

As I’ve detailed lately in this space, there is increasing intolerance for the First Amendment rights of traditional Christians in today’s military.  That’s why American people deserve to know the full truth about just how close the relationship is between anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein and the Obama Department of Defense.

Judicial Watch Make Major Election Integrity Hire

The Left’s attack on election integrity did not end with the president’s re-election. In fact, it continues to this very day.  As evidenced by the Justice Department’s recent decisions to sue the State of Texas and North Carolina over their election integrity laws. (This, despite a recent Supreme Court ruling arguably paving the way for Texas and North Carolina to impose such election integrity measures without federal interference.)

With ACORN splintered into hundreds of difficult to track “Frankensteins,” as former ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis has called them; with radical groups like Project Vote and the ACLU setting up shop inside the Obama administration; with illegal immigration amnesty finding favor in Congress; and with the most corrupt Attorney General in modern U.S. history using the full weight of the nation’s top law enforcement agency to attack states that try to keep elections clean – this is a long term battle against some very powerful forces.

And that is why I am pleased to tell you that JW recently added some power to its Election Integrity Project bringing on attorney Robert D. Popper to lead our “clean election” efforts.

As Deputy Chief of the Voting Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Robert Popper led complex litigations involving the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, and the Help America Vote Act, and he obtained favorable results in major lawsuits in Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and California.

Here’s a statement I offered to the press on Popper’s hiring:

“We are pleased and proud to welcome Robert Popper on board.  Judicial Watch has made election integrity a centerpiece of its activities.  As one of the nation’s top lawyers in the area of election law, Robert Popper shares its deep and sincere interest in making certain that every vote cast is legitimate.  Bob will be helping lead our efforts to strengthen the integrity of our elections – which is under unprecedented assault by the Obama Justice Department and allied leftist groups.”

Bob Popper added:

“I am thrilled to be joining an organization with a history of activism in behalf of open and honest government administration.  I look forward to advancing the goals of Judicial Watch through its Election Integrity Project.”

Mr. Popper has garnered numerous professional awards, including the Justice Department’s prestigious Special Commendation Award for Outstanding Service.

Prior to joining the DOJ, Mr. Popper worked as a private attorney in New York City for 17 years.  He served as trial counsel in federal and state trials, appeals, and arbitrations. His practice extended to a wide range of legal matters – including voting rights.  Mr. Popper served as both trial and appellate counsel in a successful constitutional challenge alleging racial segregation in the design of New York’s congressional districts.  As counsel for the plaintiffs, Mr. Popper obtained a favorable ruling from a three-judge federal panel in the Eastern District of New York, which was summarily affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Popper is a published author on the topic of voting rights law. He developed a legal standard relating to gerrymandering that is widely cited by experts and was adopted by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. He has spoken about voting rights to a conference of U.S. Attorneys at the National Advocacy Center, to a conference of state officials, and before countless local community representatives. He has testified before the Missouri Senate Redistricting Committee on gerrymandering. He has made radio and television appearances on behalf of the Heartland Institute.

Mr. Popper is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University Law School.  He is admitted to practice in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judicial Watch is committed to fighting for election integrity. We continue to work with some big-time champions for election integrity, including J. Christian Adams and True the Vote. And now we are very excited to have Robert Popper on our team, helping to stop the Left from stealing elections.

Folks, this is a battle that must be fought and won. If you agree with me, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to our cause. We appreciate your support!

Until next week…

Florida Lawsuit Argues Mandate Delay Exceeds Obama Administration’s Statutory Authority and is Arbitrary, Capricious, Contrary to Law, and Otherwise Unlawful. 

Seeks an Injunction Prohibiting Employer Mandate Delay

 (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa of Kawa Orthodontics against the U.S. Department of Treasury, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, the Internal Revenue Service and IRS Acting Director Daniel Werfel challenging the Obama administration’s decision to delay the enactment of the so-called “employer mandate” provision of the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare (Kawa Orthodontics, LLP vs. Jack Lew, et al., (No. 9:13-cv-80990)).

If you would like to receive weekly emails updating you about all of our efforts to fight corruption, please sign up here.
* Email  
* State:

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of Boca Raton based employer Kawa Orthodontics LLP, argues that the delay of the employer mandate “exceeded [the Obama administration’s] statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law, and is otherwise unlawful.”

The employer mandate, which subjects certain large employers to tax penalties if they do not offer “affordable,” “minimum essential” health insurance coverage to their employees, is “one of the pillars” of Obamacare.  By law, the mandate was required to take effect January 1, 2014.  On July 2, 2013, however, the Obama administration officially postponed the mandate, causing Kawa Orthodontics to lose the value of its substantial efforts to prepare for the controversial provision taking effect beginning next year:

“[Kawa Orthodontics] expended substantial time and resources, including money spent on legal fees and other costs, in preparation for the ‘employer mandate’ taking effect on January 1, 2014….[The company] would not have expended its time and resources and incurred these anticipatory costs in 2013 if the mandate had not been scheduled to take effect until 2015, but instead would have spent its time, resources, and money on other priorities.”

Kawa Orthodontics is owned by orthodontist Larry Kawa, a longtime Florida resident and hardworking American community business leader.  It employs more than 70 full-time employees in Florida.

The complaint alleges that the decision to delay the employer mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which forbids “agency action” that exceeds an agency’s statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.  The complaint asks the court to enter a judgment declaring the delay to be unlawful and an injunction prohibiting the delay.

“We obviously object to the employer mandate and the entire Obamacare law, but we understand that, under the U.S. Constitution, the law can only be changed by legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president.  President Obama would delay the damage of his health care scheme until after the 2014 congressional elections.  But politics do not trump the Constitution or the rule of law,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “And to paraphrase Ulysses S. Grant, the best way to ensure the repeal of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously.”

“I am tired of Washington, DC, picking winners and losers and giving preferential treatment to those inside the Beltway.  This is just more of DC career politicians protecting their own,” said Dr. Larry Kawa of Kawa Orthodontics.

According to the Obama White House’s website, at least 200,000 employers in the U.S. employ more than 50 employees and will be impacted by the decision to delay the employer mandate.

Watch the press conference below:

Sign Up for Updates!