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Gillenwater v. Obama

United States District Court, District of Columbia

May 21, 2014

CHARLES LEE GILLENWATER, II, Plaintiff,
v.
PRESIDENT OBAMA, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BERYL A. HOWELL, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on consideration of plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis, his pro se complaint, and petition for an emergency writ of mandamus. The application will be granted, the complaint will be dismissed, and the petition will be denied as moot.

The plaintiff brings this action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), against the President of the United States "for signing into law the unconstitutional provisions within the Affordable Care Act.'" Compl. at 4 (page numbers designated by the Court). He demands damages of $100, 000, 000.00. Id. The plaintiff's claim must fail because the President of the United States is absolutely immune from suit.

"It is well established that federal, state, and regional legislators are entitled to absolute immunity from civil liability for their legislative activities." Bogan v. Scott-Harris, 523 U.S. 44, 46 (1998). Legislative activities include the signing by the President of the United States of a bill passed by the Congress. Edwards v. United States, 286 U.S. 482, 491(1932); see Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731, 749-757 (1982). The plaintiff therefore cannot maintain this action against the President of the United States simply because he signed the Affordable Care Act into law.[1]

For these reasons, the Court will dismiss this action with prejudice. See 28 U.S.C. ยงยง 1915(e)(1)(B)(iii), 1915A(b)(2). An Order is issued separately.


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