Obama vs. the Constitution

Does the president truly understand how the judiciary works?

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In bizarrely and disparagingly calling the U.S. Supreme Court “unelected” this week, President Obama inadvertently revealed why the justices are, indeed, unelected.

They need to be out of the reach of a hyper-political president or a fickle electorate.

Our founders understood that an independent and equal judiciary, with judges who answer to the law and to the Constitution rather than political whim, is essential to freedom.

This president seems not to understand that. If Mr. Obama had his way, the Supreme Court would bow to his desires, however incompatible with the Constitution. If only they were elected, he could charm the masses and repopulate the court in his image that much more quickly!

Alas, the confounded Constitution gets in the way yet again.

Humorously, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a Justice Department lawyer this week to produce, in writing, whether the Obama administration believes judges have the authority to overturn federal laws. It was clearly a response to the president’s inane declaration.

“Does the Department of Justice recognize that federal courts have the authority in appropriate circumstances to strike federal statutes because of one or more constitutional infirmities?” one of the appeals court judges asked the federal attorney.

In addition, it should be noted that the president, in his blatant broadside against the judicial branch, vastly overstated the health-care law’s popularity in Congress. He claimed the law was “passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” Really? The vote in the House was 219-212 – and in the Senate, Democrats actually had to use extraordinary, highly questionable measures to stop it from being blocked.

In the midst of the debate, voters in liberal Massachusetts even elected a Republican, Scott Brown, to Ted Kennedy’s old seat in an obvious attempt to stop the bill from becoming law. Passage was so difficult that, for a time, Democrats considered “deeming” the bill passed without a vote.

What planet was the president on when that occurred?

Nor does Mr. Obama seem to comprehend the nature of judicial activism. In firing a preemptive political shot across the Supreme Court’s bow over the court’s impending ruling on the health-care law, he had this to say:

“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. Well, this is a good example ...”

Good grief. Judicial activism isn’t the act of overturning laws. It’s going outside the Constitution to do so, or to come to whatever conclusion a court wishes to come to. It’s a misguided belief that the Constitution is a “living” document that says whatever we want it to say, a Jell-O mold with which to shape a jiggly government structure to suit the latest tastes.

Surely a Harvard-educated lawyer would know these things, don’t you think?

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carcraft
28418
Points
carcraft 04/05/12 - 03:07 am
9
4
Obama wants to be a dictator,

Obama wants to be a dictator, pure and simple. Obama wants to bypass congress and use the power of decree and regulation to by pass congress. Standing with foreign dignitaries Obama called the Supreme Court Justices "unelected" implying that they were illegitimate. The truth of the matter is that they are elected by the Senate after being appointed by the President. Obama seems, for someone who supposedly taught constitutional law, to be very ignorant of the power of the Supreme Court and the fact that it overturns Federal laws about once a year. Now this brings up the question of the timing of this broadside against the Supreme Court. The Solicitor General did very poorly in defending Obama care and arguing for the Constitutional merits of the laws retention. The Supreme Court held the informal vote on the law on Thursday of last week. I wonder if Keagan or Sotomayor, in a highly inappropriate manner, tipped Obama off that the court was going to overturn the law. This news leads to Obama’s temper tantrum more appropriate for my two year old granddaughter.

Retired Army
17513
Points
Retired Army 04/05/12 - 04:57 am
6
12
ACES states: "It’s a

ACES states: "It’s a misguided belief that the Constitution is a “living” document that says whatever we want it to say"

I guess, in the limited thinking of this editorial staff, the amendment process put in by the founders was misguided. Such thinking precludes any changes to our living document at all.

Blacks and women take note. Your very freedom and/or voting rights, a direct result of the ability of our living Constitution to change, would not have happened were the ACES concept of the Constitution the rule. In fact, our President can and very likely will only serve two terms as a result of our ability to change the Constitution. There's a sop to the anti anything this President does crowd.

I may not be a Constitutional scholar, but I'm smart enough to know that was a pretty dumb thing to print.

justus4
113
Points
justus4 04/05/12 - 05:13 am
0
0
The article demonstrates
Unpublished

The article demonstrates several flawed observations which NEVER seem to be debunked in so-called "intelligent" circles. First, there is an inference that the president is NOT intelligent by questioning his "understanding" of the US Constitution - a common tactic by those who profess their superiority. HA! But lets review, remember when a (R) conservative, who wants to be president, and is loved in the south, even won one of those Carolina states, said he would "dispatch the Capitol Police to round up corrupt judges and bring them before Congress" and his statements were cheered at the debates! Why the silence from the cheering section then? Why was his statements cheered then? Newt wants to put American judges in jail for their decision! A direct violation of the US Constitution and nothing is said from the cheering section. How can that be if there is true respect for the document? Credibility enters....however, the president's statements are historically accurate and was brilliantly delivered to set the stage for act II. And so, where was the article: Newt v. US Constitution questioning his "understanding" of the judiciary when he was cheered at the debates? Just a question from an informed citizen who believes in the old myth: Everybody Looks, Few People See.

nofanofobama
6993
Points
nofanofobama 04/05/12 - 05:20 am
8
3
perhaps obumler failed that

perhaps obumler failed that constitional law class, afterall we dont know his grades..and it is the very constitution that protects the rights of all..the rights where always there ...and there are provisions to change the constitution legally if we need to...the left is only happy when they get there way...otherwise they plot, pout and point fingers at others..such is the tolerance of the intolerant left.

agustinian
723
Points
agustinian 04/05/12 - 06:01 am
4
0
I wouldn't use the Jell-O

I wouldn't use the Jell-O mold analogy, because that implies a hardened structured which forces a certain outcome. I think the better analogy is Silly Putty -- it can take any shape you stretch it to, and it has no memory of what it was before.

I know it's racist of me, but need I remind the President of Supreme Court decisions like Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka -- is that the activism he is railing against. Hmmmmm!

burninater
9921
Points
burninater 04/05/12 - 08:07 am
4
1
I preface this by saying that

I preface this by saying that I don't agree with Obama's take on the legal tradition of the Supreme Court determining the Constitutionality of Congressional law, BUT if the ACES is going to criticize someone's understanding of the Constitution, they should at least make sure that they aren't suffering the same ignorance.

It is not the Constitition that specifies this power of the Supreme Court. It was in the case of Marbury v. Madison that this power was interpreted to exist by a unanimous Court.

Perhaps it is for personal reasons that the ACES in the past has printed letters bemoaning the decline in understanding of American history and institutions ...

Truth Matters
8071
Points
Truth Matters 04/05/12 - 08:18 am
5
2
Are not conservatives the

Are not conservatives the ones who rail against activist judges all the time? However, you had no problem with the judges handing the 2000 election to George Bush, or when they ruled in the Citizens United case. Now you call the President out for sharing the conservative opinion that judges should not legislate from the bench. The only activist judges you seem to disagree with are those who rule against your ideology. Pleeeeze!

And to Agustinian, your comment about Brown vs. BoE of Topeka is not racist. It says something about your perspective, but does not make you a racist. Perhaps we all need to take a break from throwing around labels and discuss issues and ideas. I think you did that well.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 04/05/12 - 08:53 am
5
7
Every time President Obama

Every time President Obama does something the right supports and even has done, he is called dangerous, dumb, and other negative adjectives thrown in his direction.

The irony of it has not escaped me.

Bizkit
35397
Points
Bizkit 04/05/12 - 09:37 am
3
2
I think this case will be

I think this case will be another Marbury-Madison-like case which will effectively change our history. Let's hope that they realize that this issue isn't related to health care but the relationship between government and the people they are suppose to serve. I like the President mentioned social darwinism with the Ryan plan. I hope people realize that he must be a proponent. Giving the government more power and the ability to "mandate" anything is a step towards state controlled eugenics (they control birth control first step next step ........) and social engineering (redistribution of wealth, class warfare). The government will be able to mandate behaviors, what car you buy, no end to the state control of every aspect of a population. It gives the government control over the people rather than the people control the government. We need health care reform but the Dems royally botched the effort in a very social darwinistic way-the "superior" Dems deem what everyone else gets. If they would have adopted "cooperation" then likely more people would support Obamacare. Now even if the SCOTUS support it as it presently stands, the liabiiity of Obamacare (because it is so unpopular and disdained)will destroy the Dem party. The Dems will go extinct like the dinosaurs. I can hear it now: Remember those fascist who forced this law down our throats like a bunch of fundamentalist christians. These elitist Dems believe they know what's best for all, and believe they can decide who lives and dies, etc. you can imagine.

Bizkit
35397
Points
Bizkit 04/05/12 - 09:46 am
1
2
The forefathers were very

The forefathers were very concerned about too much power to a centralized government and the protection of individual freedoms. Right now as the Constitution reads Obamacare would likely be constitutional, but I think the SCOTUS realizes that this case highlights a slippery slope of central government control. I think they will have the insight to realize ,despite health care being a meritous goal, that the issue is the relationship between govt and the people, and a central government shouldn't have such power over the people. Basically prevent a possible tyrranny like that which precipitated the founding of our country. The sentiment of the Constitution is in favor of the people,and the states, not a centralized government that controls and mandates.

Truth Matters
8071
Points
Truth Matters 04/05/12 - 09:50 am
4
3
To those who have fear of the

To those who have fear of the government over reaching and controlling the lives of the people, are you equally as concerned about that happening in conservative controlled states that are passing laws requiring women to get invasive tests prior to excising a right they choose to exercise? Sounds like a mandate to me!

You can't have it both ways, and far too many conservatives are trying to do just that.

I think people who raise the issue of wealth redistribution should be required to post their net worth. If it's not at least six figures, stop fantasizing. You can't afford to share anything and no one is asking you or anyone else to do so whether you have six-or nine-figure worth/income.

This is merely a smoke screen to pit the poor against the poor and middle class.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 04/05/12 - 10:13 am
0
2
Truth Matters: Federal

Truth Matters:
Federal government intrusion is different than state government intrusion.

Bizkit
35397
Points
Bizkit 04/05/12 - 11:20 am
3
1
I agree Truth Matters we've

I agree Truth Matters we've seen first hand the tyranny of a Rep controlled Exec. and Legis.under Bush and now the tyranny of a Dem controlled Executive and Legislative under Obama. The forefathers had some insight to create a Judicial branch. Both parties are bought by special interest, and the Congress really has its own interest in mind and not the people. They all live in fantasy land.

nofanofobama
6993
Points
nofanofobama 04/05/12 - 11:33 am
2
2
TRUTH MATTERS..wish it did

TRUTH MATTERS..wish it did ...you all cannot get over the bush win in 2000...not only did newspaper conduct re-counts which did not contradict the orig. count..but lets re-visit what happen that night...in order to diminish the vote for republicans the main tv news stations called the race for GORE. even when the western tip of the panhandle was in the central time zone...heavy republican area and military...and dont forget how hard they fought to not count the military..and since obumler care violates the 14th amendment it ought to be thrown out...what activism is ..is to find a right or law not specified [ like abortion] and make it a law. ...this is judicial activism and if not specfied in the constitution it ought to be voted on..as addressed by the constitution..

Truth Matters
8071
Points
Truth Matters 04/05/12 - 12:24 pm
2
1
I really do not like engaging

I really do not like engaging in a tit for tat, so my final comment on this will be:

I can't speak for others but I did accept the judges decision; I didn't like it but I did accept it. When I visited DC I had no problems pointing out to our youth the respect that the office of the presidency requires. Now if only the people on the other side could say the same. Remember the parents who kept their children home from school because they "feared" the President's speech to school kids would indoctrinate them?!! And the congressman who yelled, "you lie," in a joint session of congress; the governor who wagged her finger in the President's face at the airport and later said she felt "threatened" are just some of the examples of adults not setting a good example of what elections mean in this country.

This horse has left the barn and if our youth take lessons from the adults on what it means to show respect for the office of the presidency whether or not its your choice or not, we are in trouble.

Nofanofobama, show your post that references the President as "obumler" to your "children", "grandchildren", or your "pastor" and ask them if they think it reflects the respect for the highest office in the land. If they say yes, put your real name to the post and be proud of what you stand for.

justthefacts
24891
Points
justthefacts 04/05/12 - 12:32 pm
2
0
12,000 people in San

12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The list is long and ugly. Paybacks are hell.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 04/05/12 - 01:09 pm
0
0
Finding that obamacare is

Finding that obamacare is unconstitutional is not activism.

homemedic
9
Points
homemedic 04/05/12 - 01:13 pm
1
2
Obama doesnt respect the Lord

Obama doesnt respect the Lord as a Christian..you think he cares about the Constitution...We live by this and a failure to uphold this as a President is Treason..

homemedic
9
Points
homemedic 04/05/12 - 01:16 pm
1
1
The Presidental Report Card

The Presidental Report Card shows Obama to be a total failure.

nofanofobama
6993
Points
nofanofobama 04/05/12 - 01:37 pm
3
2
truth matters...everyone i

truth matters...everyone i know has no doubt that i do not respect obama one iota...he does not respect our constitution..our seperation of powers...he lies ....hes an ego-maniac and he blames everyone else for the mess we are in.and he is selling us out to our enimies..YES I RESPECT OUR COUNTRY AND THE OFFICE..that doesnt mean the fake we have in office gets my respect...and i do teach my children to respect AND I DO TEACH THEM TO WORK HARD AND NOT TO LIE but when an individual in such a postition of power ABUSES that power there will be no respect period..and i have had 5 or 6 letters published in the paper expressing my displeasure of the prez..truth does matter

Bizkit
35397
Points
Bizkit 04/05/12 - 01:49 pm
4
0
Just read where Obama

Just read where Obama believes women should be allowed to be members in Augusta National. Of course Augusta National says they will decide such matters (good for you as a principal of freedom But I would encourage a serious consideration- in my support for women). Interesting I've never heard Obama ask the Congressional Black Caucus to accept white members. He has jumped the gun twice with opionions on two african-american cases with little knowledge of events. He doesn't seem to take other minorities like asians and hispanics into consideration-this maybe construed to be racist. Discrimination is ugly whether you discriminate for or against a group. UhOh just read where Obama may attack Mitt's mormon faith. You gotta be kiddin. What idiot suggested opening such a bag of worms.

twolane
191
Points
twolane 04/05/12 - 02:10 pm
0
0
well after reading these
Unpublished

well after reading these comments i have to agree that our way of life is pretty much done for

socks99
250
Points
socks99 04/05/12 - 03:19 pm
2
1
Heh, heh! ACES took the

Heh, heh! ACES took the red-meat served-up so predictably by Obama and the liberal left! PBO's strategy is virtually identical to FDR's "stalking horse" war against the Supreme Court, the rich, profits, and all sorts of straw men!

PBO's rhetoric was knowingly absurd and designed to spark outrage and righteous indignation. Your words, now, will be used in PBO's divisive Presidential campaign to polarize the electorate, and whip-up enough true believer zeal to let him keep the nice digs.

carcraft
28418
Points
carcraft 04/05/12 - 06:18 pm
2
1
Socks99- Obama is to stupid

Socks99- Obama is to stupid to even come close to forming a stategery that complex! I watched a Republican ad that shows Obama says the same things over and over again. Class warfare, strawman arguments, and stupid interventions in issues that are uncalled for. Obama's comments were not red meat, they were ignorant and especially embarrasing when stated in front of foreign dignitaries. Obama has no sense of class and little grace. Far from being the cool intellectual Obama is quickly becoming like the uncle that is boring because he tells the same repetitive stories over and over again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fhv5nT34NHo http://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Faclk%3Fs...

carcraft
28418
Points
carcraft 04/05/12 - 06:33 pm
1
0
This is getting funny-Carney

This is getting funny-Carney was asked, again, about Obama’s comment. Carney says Obama didn't mis speak he was speaking a legal short hand. One of the reports says, “Laurence Tribe, one of Obama's professors, says Obama clearly miss spoke". Carney then says no you just don't understand constitutional law. Will I think Tribe would understand Obama's legal short hand if any one did. Obama's stupid remarks have now occupied or been a part of the News cycle for 4 days and the zany answers coming out of the White House are getting weirder! http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/04/05/carney_obama_not_under...

KSL
143150
Points
KSL 04/05/12 - 10:57 pm
1
1
Haki, totally uncalled for

Haki, totally uncalled for statement. Obama is stupid. That's why his grades are not made public. I'm not a public official, but if I were, I would be pleased to make my Ivy League college grades public.

KSL
143150
Points
KSL 04/05/12 - 11:01 pm
0
1
Doesn't it bother you in the

Doesn't it bother you in the least that your hero is so secretive about how is education was paid for, what his grades were (after all, he's supposed to be so brilliant)? I have never claimed to be brilliant, fairly intelligent and well trained, but not the most brilliant person on earth, like a lot of Obama supporters see him. He is stupid. He's totally propped up by his supporters.

KSL
143150
Points
KSL 04/05/12 - 11:10 pm
0
0
And I'm very well versed in

And I'm very well versed in how Ivy League schools treat their students. First of all, they tell them they are the best of the best. They drum that into you to make you believe it, no matter how you managed to get admitted. They go over it and over it and over it. "you are the best." Some begin to believe it. Some keep their feet grounded. If you have not attended an Ivy League school, you have no clue. Getting in is the hardest part. After that, it's a piece of cake.

KSL
143150
Points
KSL 04/05/12 - 11:09 pm
0
0
And, as for Obama, we have a

And, as for Obama, we have a clue that the getting in part was not all that difficult.

Haki
31
Points
Haki 04/05/12 - 11:17 pm
0
1
KSL, get some rest. President

KSL, get some rest. President Obama was the editor of the Harvard Law Review. You're showing your ignorance here. You see, there is not a student at Harvard Law School who would not love that honor. It's not class president, not homecoming king, not a vote most likely to succeed. It's a title given for the merit of your work and only the best and brightest achieve it.

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