President Obama's Rose Garden remarks yesterday on the Supreme Court are shameful, a blot on his presidency.
"Ultimately, I am 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,"
As a purported constitutional law lecturer, President Obama is fully aware that laws passed by democratically elected majorities (that's how laws are made) are overturned by the Supreme Court on a regular basis. His claim of a sizable majority is false when it comes to the House, where the margin was very close. But the size of the majority has no relevance, nor does the fact that the law in question was passed on a purely partisan basis with no Republican votes make any difference either.
Because the Harvard-educated lawyer knows all this, the words "unprecedented" and "extraordinary" are lies.
"And I'd just remind conservative commentators that, for years, what we have heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism, or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law."
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.
The Justices know very well that they depend on consensus acceptance of their rulings. What if certain segments of society began to characterize the Court as illegitimate? The prospect of a president whipping up a segment of his base against the court's authority is, to use Obama's much-abused word, extraordinary. In the wake of liberal activist ruling, the talking heads always remind us that we must respect "the rule of law" when the Court invents law.
FDR's failed court packing adventure when faced with a reluctant court didn't incite the mob in a challenge to the court's legitimacy itself so far as I know. It was a proposal for legislation to enlarge the Court, a modification of the institution, not an implicit threat to challenge the institution itself.
Jon Meacham of TIME, no Conservative, cautions Obama:
...here is a pretty good rule of thumb for Democratic Presidents: if it didn't work for Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four terms and a World War, it probably won't work for you either.
Don Surber thinks Obama is making himself look ridiculous:
In attacking the Supreme Court, President Obama is channeling Democratic governors in the past such as Orval Faubus and George Wallace. Maybe he can go total jackass and stand in front of the hospital door shouting Obamacare now, Obamacare tomorrow, Obamacare forever.
Michael Walsh of NRO sees Obama as unable to deal with the word "no."
this is a man who has never heard the word "no." All along hisglide path to power, as he was handed off from one enabler to another, he's been told he's the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being anyone has ever known, and he erupts in petulant frustration when reality intrudes upon his narcissistic fantasy.
Jeannie DeAngelis comments:
Funny, Obama doesn't seem to have a problem with the unelected Burger court, almost four decades ago, taking the "unprecedented step" of deciding "the right to privacy" included killing unborn babies. With that in mind, maybe it's high time the American people follow Barack Obama's lead and revisit the injustice of one particular activist SCOTUS ruling he happens to heartily agree with, which for almost 40 years has negatively affected both the born and the unborn.
Obama must have been winging it in the Rose Garden. His delivery was slow, and it appeared that he was groping for words. He went with his Alinsky gut instinct, hitting those who stand in his way below the belt. It was not a wise decision.
I await the reaction of left wing law professors. Will any actually defend Obama's lies?
Update and bump:
Herb Meyer points out that if the president is correct, then Harvard Law School is incorrectly teaching constitutional law. Surely the dean ought to be questioned about this. So should every educator
Was it judicial activism when a Federal judge struck down a law passed by a majority of Californians that prohibited illegal immigrants from receiving public benefits? Is it judicial activism that Obama refuses to enforce immigration laws?