In response, a three-judge panel for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals told the Department of Justice that it has until today to explain whether the Obama administration actually believes the Court has the right to strike down a federal law. In a stipulation that sort of reminds you of high school English class, one judge insisted the paper must be "three pages, single space."
The high school feel of this kind of fits considering that Obama's claim that the Supreme Court has never overturned a federal law is as inaccurate as how an unprepared high school student might answer the same question on a basic history test. The correct answer is that the Supreme Court has overturned more than 150 federal laws. In fact that's the Court's job - to determine the constitutionality of legislation that comes up for such review.
Obama's assertion that ObamaCare was passed by a strong majority is also wrong. It passed the House with a 219-212 vote, including 34 Democrats who voted against it. That's hardly a sweeping victory.
The President then tried to imply the Supreme Court would be guilty of judicial activism should it overturn ObamaCare when he said, "And I‘d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve 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."
Obama's reference to "unelected officials" is interesting since he himself has appointed many unelected people to positions of power in his own administration - whether it be panels to determine if the elderly's treatment under Medicare is cost-effective, or the number of czars he has hand-picked. It's almost shocking that this president would even refer to any unelected official in a way that casts doubt on their authority considering he has given tremendous authority to just that type of person. Then again, nothing about this man is shocking except for the fact there are still people who support him.
But reminding the Supreme Court justices that they are unelected and, therefore, somehow not worthy of sound decision making, is disrespectful of the High Court. It also confuses judicial activism with the Court's rightful task of judicial review. A self-proclaimed homosexual federal judge overturning more than five million votes to uphold traditional marriage in California - after the state Supreme Court ruled to uphold it - smacks more of judicial activism based on personal views than it demonstrates judicial review. The U.S. Supreme Court's considering ObamaCare's constitutionality is exactly what it should be doing: judicial review - and it is certainly not unprecedented.
But rather than admit he made a factual mistake with his "unprecedented" comment and moving on, Obama is hoping we'll believe White House press secretary Jay Carney's claim that we all just misunderstood what Obama meant by that. According to Carney, Obama was merely referring to the precedent set for cases on the commerce clause, not Supreme Court cases in general. Please. Even the overturn of commerce clause cases is not unprecedented.
Obama meant exactly what he said. He just didn't count on the backlash and so now must back pedal. Why else would he say what he said other than to try to exert pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to see things his way?
Judging by the challenges he has thrown down in so many areas - like states' rights (e.g., suing Arizona for trying to obey federal immigration law), oil and coal companies (e.g., when he promised his cap & trade initiatives would, by design, bankrupt the coal industry), the Catholic church (e.g., the HHS mandate on contraception coverage), the Defense of Marriage Act (e.g., claiming the DoJ would no longer defend it), women and babies (has defunded the Texas Women's Health Program because it blocks abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood; supports letting babies who survive abortions to be denied life-saving treatment), etc., - it's probably not a big surprise that Obama is now turning his ire on the Supreme Court. It's just one more step toward his attempt to re-frame the presidency as nothing more than a personal bully pulpit.
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