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  • Holder's Letter to Judges Ignores the Issue

    Instead of responding to the 5th Circuit Court’s explicit request regarding President Obama’s untoward comments about the Supreme Court’s power to overturn congressional statutes, Attorney General Eric Holder sent the judges a law student-level brief on the propriety of judicial review. The letter intentionally ignored the judge’s main question, which was, in essence: does the Department of Justice and the Attorney General of the United States agree with the comments by the President of the United States? The letter focused almost exclusively on the deference courts must pay to acts of Congress. As such, the Department’s response will only make matters worse for the administration, as this issue will now remain in the public spotlight for some time.

    Recall that on Monday of this week, in a Rose Garden press conference, President Obama was asked about the prospect of the Supreme Court overturning his signature legislative achievement, Obamacare. The President said, “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.”  He went on to express confidence that “an unelected group of people” would not “overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”  The not-so-subtle inference being that the Supreme Court did not have the authority to overturn a law that was passed by Congress.

    It is clearly improper (and unprecedented) for the President of the United States, while a case is pending before the high court, to comment on the litigation in the manner in which President Obama did.  This is especially true where, as is the case here, the United States is a party to the litigation. The President’s comments were designed to intimidate members of the high court to vote the “right way,” and/or to incite public opinion if the Court rules in a manner that displeases the President.

    Judicial activism is not when courts exercise their constitutional responsibility to overturn statutes that clearly violate the constitution. Rather, judicial activism is when courts ignore the constitution and instead rule on cases based on their policy preferences.

    The three days of oral arguments in the Obamacare case last week demonstrated that there are serious constitutional concerns with Obamacare, most notably the individual mandate.  Whether the federal government has the power under the commerce clause to regulate inactivity by ordering everyone to purchase a private product (insurance) and penalize you if you don’t is a legitimate constitutional question.  The fact that the administration was not able to provide the high court with any limiting principle to their broad claims of constitutionality has left Obamacare vulnerable to being overturned, and the administration on the defense.

    Unfortunately, Holder’s letter, rather than putting the issue to rest—which would have required them to acknowledge that the President “misspoke”—makes matters worse, and is further indication that the administration realizes that Obamacare may well be found unconstitutional.

    DOJ Healthcare Letter 040512

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Holder's Letter to Judges Ignores the Issue

    1. Bobbie says:

      it's terrifying to have people in America's house that vowed to uphold the American peoples' Constitution now in, slander, refuse to uphold, deny respect or acknowledge the American peoples Constitution's true interpretation. The President threatens the court while the peoples' constitution is almost his.

    2. kverdeck says:

      "When the Founders drafted the Constitution, they had a clear understanding of tyranny. They also had a clear idea about how to prevent it from ever taking root in America. Their solution was to separate the government's powers into three co-equal branches: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Each of these branches plays a vital role in our free society. Each serves as a check on the others. And to preserve our liberty, each must meet its responsibilities — and resist the temptation to encroach on the powers the Constitution accords to others.

      For the judiciary, resisting this temptation is particularly important, because it's the only branch that is unelected and whose officers serve for life. Unfortunately, some judges give in to temptation and make law instead of interpreting. Such judicial lawlessness is a threat to our democracy — and it needs to stop."

      -George W. Bush, 2007

      • Doug says:

        With all due respect to G.W. Bush, the justices are selected by the President and confirmed in the Senate. Both offices duly elected by the people. While it is fact that some justices are chosen strictly with the hope that they will adhere to certain policy slants no matter what lies before them (Kagen, Sotomayor), not all do.

    3. SDangerfield says:

      OMG, the President violated the "The President shall not comment on pending litigation clause"!! Why are you namby-pambying around instead of calling for impeachment11!!

    4. West Texan says:

      Obama was quoted as saying " … passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected congress." The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to completely ignore the Constitution's enumerated powers, while sanctioning Obama's limitless overthrow of states' domestic sovereignty? This community organizer's careless statement exposes his tendency to use mobs for personal gain . It's critical this guy be shown the door in November.

    5. Stirling says:

      I'm sure if the law is struck down that Holder will run to Obama's defense (whatever that will mean.) but he didn't put Holder in the position to uphold the law of the land, only to selectively enforce laws.

    6. [It is clearly improper (and unprecedented) for the President of the United States, while a case is pending before the high court, to comment on the litigation in the manner in which President Obama did.] Obama has a history of unprecedented actions. Ignoring bankruptcy law to buy GM for the UAW. Circumventing congress to implement Cap n Trade through unelected bureaucratic environmental extremists. The Cap part was announced March 27, the trade part comes if Obama reelected. NLRB denying a business it's right to build where they choose. Held in contempt for defying federal judge's orders on oil moratorium. No Obama is the unprecedented actor defying the Constitution at every opportunity.

    7. Oscar Brown says:

      Did we expect anything else? This administration has been giving the one-finger salute to the Constitution and rule of law ever since its inception. Because of their ideology, they are incapable of doing any other. The AGs response is just the latest and upholds the arrogance and condescension of this administration.
      By the end of this year, God willing and conservative voters doing what they must, we can bid these petulent children goodbye.

    8. rmgdnnow says:

      There is good reason to believe that Obama does not want to solve the country's problems. He does not like this nation, and has as much as said so. If ballooning deficits threaten to bankrupt the country, he has more excuses to starve the military (which is one of the Constitutional mandates). If the nation goes bankrupt then the favored unions and University professors can take control of the country to "solve the problems." Ergo, a despotic regime which will control every minute of the citizen's life, and line the pockets of the bureaucracy and the dominant union bosses and the politicians.

    9. Carol,AZ says:

      Threaten the court system?
      Holder continues to stall all paper trail in the Fast & Furious case holding this investigation hostage for almost one year. Due I need to remind America, we lost two American that held Federal jobs protecting all of us. .
      Holder broke the law to dismiss all accountability in the "New Black Panther voter fraud case:" the judge presiding quit his job becasue of Holder's usurping power, over the legal court system.
      Few states in the USA have not had lawsuits forced upon them for States Rights, by the DOJ.
      He and Bo what obsolute power.
      If that's not clear by now to the rest of America all of us must be brain dead.

    10. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Let's be honest! Did anyone expect Holder to address the issue. Quite frankly, most of us should be shocked that he actually replied to the 5th Circuit Court.

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