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  • President Obama: An Advocate for a Restrained Judiciary?

    Yesterday in a joint press conference with the Canadian prime minister and Mexican president, President Obama expressed his confidence that the Supreme Court will uphold his signature health care law, following more than six hours of oral argument before the Court last week.

    Obama suggested that the Court—not Congress—would be taking an “unprecedented, extraordinary step” if it overturned ObamaCare despite the fact that the Court will need to stretch its Commerce Clause jurisprudence to the outer limits to find that Congress’ mandate that people buy inflated health insurance plans is a proper exercise of Congress’ power to regulate commerce.  But putting on his “constitutional law professor” hat, Obama chastised the Court, noting that the justices must exercise judicial restraint and resist the temptation to strike down a law passed by “a strong majority of democratically elected Congress.”

    As Robert Alt argues, the President distorted the meaning of judicial activism in an effort to influence the justices as they determine the fate of ObamaCare.  Alt explains that judicial activism occurs

    “when judges write subjective policy preferences into their legal decisions rather than apply the constitutional or statutory provisions according to their original meaning or plain text” and “does not necessarily involve striking down laws, but may occur when a judge applies his or her own policy preferences to uphold a statute or other government action…clearly forbidden by the Constitution.”

    Not only does Obama misunderstand the proper role of a judge, but he’s twisting the facts as well, claiming that Congress passed ObamaCare with a “strong majority.” That’s a bold misrepresentation (the House passed it 219-212 on party lines and the Senate passed it with 60 votes) and is simply a “rank attempt to intimidate” the Court into upholding ObamaCare.  With any luck, the justices will tune out this and any other attempt to sway them as they evaluate the constitutionality of ObamaCare.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to President Obama: An Advocate for a Restrained Judiciary?

    1. PAH says:

      I sense panic and mass desperation in our President. He sense he has already loss the vote and he and his liberal pals in the media and elsewhere are trying for a Hail Mary.

    2. Bobbie says:

      The American people continue to advocate for the proper constitutional role of the American Presidency! So far, non compliance, violations and disrespect continues.

    3. Stirling says:

      It just shows the lack of respect the president has the rule of law. For a president that studied constitutional law he thinks for some reason that he is above the law and not bound to it. Only dictators have such arogance to question the highest court in the land, and to threaten them. His veiled threats should be seen as an abomination to all that makes this country free.

    4. Saltire says:

      The only thing better would be a 6 to 3 to overturn it. His comments smacked of trying to intimidate and place undue influence over the Court. I would've thought he would know that the Court is a separate branch of government, given his highly touted credential as a teacher of constitutional law.

      Very interesting, to say the least.

    5. kevintkeith says:

      How is more than 2:1 not a "strong majority" (albeit in one chamber only)? And note that, as Obama explicitly stated in the remark that the right wing has universally chosen to mis-quote, it is conservatives who have constantly criticized courts for overturning democratically enacted laws, and his remark was merely an observation that if that standard were to be applied, it should be applied to the healthcare act as well.

      Obama said nothing challenging the doctrine of judicial review. He explicitly endorsed it, again in the same remarks that the right wing has universally selectively mis-quoted. This entire issue is nothing more than than another sad display of Conservative Reading Comprehension Disorder.

      • Guillermo says:

        Your math leaves a lot to be desired (typical of liberals). 60 to 40 is not 2:1, it is 3:2 And lets not forget that was achieved by BUYING dozens of votes.

      • Curt says:

        not 2:1 it was 2:1.3 or 60 – 39 in the Senate with Senator Nelson (the 60th vote) being paid off with "free" Medicaid for the State of Nebraska. Also Bernie Sanders (I -VT) received $10 billion in new funding for his vote.

        The House vote was 219 -212.

        That is how the act was NOT passed with a "strong majority"

      • GinaR says:

        It's one thing to criticize the courts after the decision, Obama is criticizing the Justices before the decision it revealed.

        • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

          I agree. Furthermore, when a Republican criticizes the courts even after a decision, they are accused of violating the separation of powers and inciting violence against them. I remember what they did to Tom DeLay after his comments regarding the Kelo v. City of New London case. Law & Order did a little hit job on him. There is nothing but silence from the MSM now after Obama's comments.

          The courts and their rulings are sacrosanct and above criticism…unless they interfere with the statist agenda.

      • Stirling says:

        Kevin, your choiice of "right wing" shows you have been buying into the liberal media's spin, which should give you an indication that your source is biased. (The liberal media is as much in the tank as the administration.) If you objectively understood where each side is on the issue, it would serve you better to see the overall picture as well as the negative impacts on the healthcare/insurance as a result of obamacare. Obama's challenge will come should his law be stuck down.. Which given the presidents track record not accepting a "no" from anyone (even lower court judges to stop), shows his intentions.

    6. Wait until he doesn't get his way

      Then he will make it an executive order

      Bypassing the courts and the "Do nothing Congress"

    7. MAJ says:

      President Obama uses a form of accusatory and inflamatory rhetoric whenever anything goes against what he wants to will on the American electorate. Has he forgotten that the justices are there by appointment and for a lifetime. That the Court is the third branch of government and is essential to our system of checks and balances. I am sure the justices are well aware that they are NOT to make rulings based on their own political and social leanings, but based on the constitutionality of the law.

    8. @John71151 says:

      I think that our President and government are totally out of control! The are operating as they wish and taking our rights away on at a time. Obama Care is nothing more then socialism. Why do seniors have to suffer with no dental or eye care? They can not even get married to each other or they face loosing half of their income? Is this fact falling on deaf ears?

    9. tucanofulano says:

      We keep expecting to see Mr Obama as a 2-year old spoiled rotten brat lay down and kick his heels while crying copious quantities of tears of anguish because he didn't get his own way and "those people" (American citizens) removed his blue blanket. Of course there are (at least) two world views. There is the American view of bottom up authority, and the Obamaite's view of top down (do it my way or the highway). History is replete with examples of what happened to the top down Dictators.

    10. anne says:

      this man in my mind does know nothing about constitutional law, We shave not seen any of his marks or college degrees so we do not know if he has any knowledge other than all schools he attended supposedly will not give out any news. there is a reason both he and his wife not longer can practice law. He now has control of the networks and it seems Fox is turning also.

    11. Jeanne McMahon says:

      I thought every president took an oath to uphold the constitution. Does this not mean that he would
      always defend it and revere it? Obama disrespected the law of the land in his little speech and his
      constituents hear this and are influenced by this irresponsible rhetoric. I was shocked to hear the words coming from a man we call "President"! Off with him.

    12. alcon says:

      Not surprising for a man who voluntarily surrendered his law license in Illinois and also falsely claimed to being a "professor of law" at Chicago U. This man has no scruples and is on a mission to destroy the protections provided to us in the constitution. His agenda is to take from the working class and well to do and give to the non workers while expanding that population by allowing illegal immigrants to continue flowing into our country and supporting them for citizenship.

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