Jonathan Adler asks: Was delaying the employer mandate legal? Did the IRS even check?

Jonathan Adler blogs on the Volokh Conspiracy about these two issues.

Adler links to a Washington Examiner report of Treasury Department Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur’s recent testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Mazur testified that he was unaware of anyone at the Treasury Department who inquired into the legal authority for the employer mandate delays—and gave a similar answer when asked about the IRS and Executive Office. The Washington Examiner also reported that during a Senate hearing in January, Attorney General Eric Holder was unable to explain the legal basis for the delays.

Mazur was the Treasury Department official who originally announced the delays in a July 2013 blog post titled, “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.”

But careful and thoughtful don’t necessarily mean legal.