Or, Deep Dish Politics
I say this a little tongue-in-cheek, but, I wonder how long it will be before Rahm “Rahmbo” sends a dead fish to the Supreme Court Justices to get the point across.
On Monday the 2nd of April, President Obama, speaking from the Rose Garden with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, urged “judicial restraint” while they deliberate on the constitutionality of ObamaCare:
“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
There is nothing unprecedented or extraordinary about the Supreme Court overturning a law they determine to be outside of the limits of the Constitution. In fact, that’s their job. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) agrees:
“Nothing could be more appropriate for the Supreme Court to decide than whether a bill is constitutional or not,” he told Fox News Radio.
Smith said he was “disappointed” by the president’s remarks.
“It is not unprecedented at all for the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional; they do that on a regular basis so it’s not unprecedented at all,” he said. “What is unprecedented is for the president of the United States trying to intimidate the Supreme Court.”
Oh, and that part about being passed by a strong majority? I seem to remember it being passed on a razor thin margin along party lines (in fact, it passed in both bodies of congress only after last-minute deals were cut with opponents of some part of the legislation).
And now we have this, a President that is “confident” that his signature legislation will not be deemed unconstitutional. Even to the point of warning the Supreme Court against “activism,” and subtly reminding them they are not “elected officials.” Which is, oddly enough, a good thing. Elected justices would be, by very definition of being elected, activists, doing what they could to get re-elected (here’s looking at you, politicos).
Judge Andrew Napolitano slammed the President on this, saying:
“We were scratching our heads when we were watching this and had it played over and over again because this is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the head of the Harvard Law Review and he taught constitutional law review at the University of Chicago,” said Napolitano. “Two of the best law schools in the country and he’s rejecting a basic premise of American law that’s not been seriously questioned in 175 years, which is this: the courts have the right to review what the Congress does and what the President does and if the court finds that behavior unconstitutional, they can void, they can invalidate what the Congress and the what the President does. That’s our system. That’s what preserves the Constitution against the tyranny of the majority. No president has questioned this since Andrew Jackson!”
Watch Napolitano’s full take:
Many of you recall that Obama has a sordid history with the Supreme Court.
This is where the term “Chicago style politics” comes from. Things are done mafia style, apparently.
Thomas Lifson wrote on American Thinker:
This is willful redefinition of judicial activism, which refers to inventing new law from something other than the actual words of the Constitution. As Richard Viguerie and Mark. J. Fitzgibbons remind us, the Constitution is the law that governs the government. Laws are unconstitutional when they exceed the limitations placed on the government by the people, through the Constitution. The law restrains the government, as the civil and criminal codes govern us. Overturning a law on that basis is not activism, it is law enforcement. Overturning a law because of some imagined right discerned not in the text but in an invented doctrine such as a penumbra does count as judicial activism. Obama knows this.
I must conclude that the only reason why President Obama would so egregiously lie is to send a message to the Court that if it displeases him, he will appeal to the segments of the American public utterly ignorant of the Constitution and not really paying close attention to the news. And he will in effect tell them that the Court isn’t really legitimate. This is a Chicago-style “if they bring a knife, you bring a gun” threat.
Blake Oates writes on Freedom Bunker:
Perhaps our president has forgotten that we live under not a democracy, but a constitutional republic. Furthermore, that the Constitution of that republic separates the powers of the government in to three equal branches, one of which is the court system. Overturning a law passed by congress – regardless of the support it has – is what the courts must do if the law does not conform to the Constitution. There is nothing “extraordinary” about it, it’s the law of the land.
Is Obama making the Court an offer it can’t refuse?