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Did this president give proper respect to the Supreme Court?
Reagan claimed during a presidential debate in Cleveland that he opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, despite being “for equal rights,” because “the amendment will take this problem out of the hands of elected legislators and put it in the hands of unelected judges.”
Reagan insisted that “[w]e’ve had too many examples in recent years of courts and judges legislating. They’re not interpreting what the law says and whether someone was violated or not. In too many instances they have been actually legislating by legal decree what they think the law should be.”
1996 Republican Party Platform...
The federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court, has overstepped its authority under the Constitution. It has usurped the right of citizen legislators and popularly elected executives to make law by declaring duly enacted laws to be “unconstitutional” through the misapplication of the principle of judicial review.
George W. Bush in 2000...
“[T]he judges ought not to take the place of the legislative branch of government. . . . I don’t believe in liberal activist judges. I believe in strict constructionists."
President Obama, April 2nd,
"Ultimately, 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. 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. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step."
Critical comments about the Supreme Court from many other presidents make up the warp and woof of presidential history. The exception, of course, is President Obama. If Obama says anything critical of the Court, then it's uniquely different somehow. The only thing I can think that is uniquely different about our current president is...umm...his skin color. And conservatives have assured me that Obama's skin color has never been a problem with any on their political side of the fence.
It's necessary to direct your attention to what Obama actually said here. Obama is being pummeled from the usual suspects on the right for calling the Supremes..."an unelected group of people." Allegedly, reminding people that the Supremes are not elected by the people is a faux pas in proper Village circles. Problem is.....Obama "reminded conservative commentators" of "what we've heard...for years" from Republicans and conservatives. And we have.....heard those words from Republicans and conservatives "for years."
Obama was using a conservative complaint/argument to explain why he expects the Supremes to pass the ACA. It's not Obama who invented the label "unelected group of people" and initially applied it to the Supreme Court. That's what "strict constructionist" fans on the far-right have been calling them for years....but notice....when Obama repeats the conservative complaint....it's as if the phrase has never, ever been uttered before in all of human history. Because with Obama, everything is evaluated differently.
When it comes to Obama's use of the word "unprecedented" to describe a possible overturning of the ACA....he later clarified what he meant. Yes, of course the Supremes can overturn laws, declare them unconstitutional. That's their job, actually. It's not as if Obama doesn't know that. But it would be unprecedented.....at least since the 30's...for the Court to overturn a duly passed economic-based law. For the last 70+ years, the Court has acknowledged the right of Congress to pass laws to regulate interstate commerce, as well as many other economically-based pieces of legislation. It would have been more accurate for Obama to have said an overturn of the ACA would be an unprecedented act by the Supremes....unprecedented in the last 70 years.
Now comes one of the 5th Circuit Court Justices...Jerry Smith, a Reagan appointee from 1988......to give a full-on visual of how activist judges.....act....
The (5th Circuit) panel is hearing a separate challenge to the health care law by physician-owned hospitals. The issue arose when a lawyer for the Justice Department began arguing before the judges. Appeals Court Judge Jerry Smith immediately interrupted, asking if DOJ agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law.
The DOJ lawyer, Dana Lydia Kaersvang, answered yes -- and mentioned Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case that firmly established the principle of judicial review more than 200 years ago, according to the lawyer in the courtroom.
But that was not good enough for Judge Smith....
"I'm referring to statements by the president in past few days to the effect, and sure you've heard about them, that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed 'unelected' judges to strike acts of Congress that have enjoyed -- he was referring to, of course, Obamacare -- to what he termed broad consensus in majorities in both houses of Congress."
In asking for the letter, Smith said: "I want to be sure you're telling us that the attorney general and the Department of Justice do recognize the authority of the federal courts, through unelected judges, to strike acts of Congress or portions thereof in appropriate cases."
The bruised fee-fees almost scream off the page, don't they? This Judge Smith is quite the assh*le. Giving the DOJ lawyer an essay-homework assignment of three, single spaced, pages on why the Supreme Court can overturn unconstitutional laws.....is his way of sticking it to the Dark Knight Usurper-in-Chief.....I guess, because that sly Obama reminded conservatives about how often they have raised the "activist judge", "unelected people" criticisms of the Supreme Court.
Finally, notice how Judge Smith didn't wax all political or anything.....with his use of the conservative-contrived euphemism, "Obamacare." In this, Judge Smith was imitating his higher Court assh*le buddy Antonin Scalia. Scalia....ever the neutral and pristinely-pure, objective decider....had brought up the Fox-bot, Dittohead invention, "Cornhusker Kickback", in oral arguments this week. The "Cornhusker Kickback".......in the end.....never happened....never made it into the final ACA legislation. But to assh*les like Scalia.....that doesn't matter. You see, it's only Obama who is talking and acting all politically.