President warms up his stump speech against the ‘unelected’ court

It seems our former constitutional law professor of a president has again leveled a bit of criticism toward the robed ladies and gentlemen of the highest court in the land.

In a press conference Monday, Obama made pointed reference to an “unelected group of people,” meaning the court. While couching his comments as an expression of confidence that the court would uphold his signature health care law, he managed to criticize.

“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,” he said. That strong majority was 219-212 vote in a predominantly Democratic House and a no-wiggle-room 60 votes to override a filibuster in the Senate that was obtained by outright bribery and chicanery.

Obama at Monday press conference. (Getty Images at WSJ)

As for unprecedented and extraordinary, I seem to recall a frustrated Obama lecturing members of the court in person in one of his State of the Union addresses over its striking a nearly century-old congressional ban on free speech by corporations and unions. The court has stricken countless laws, as The Wall Street Journal today points out, since Marbury v. Madison in 1803. You’d think a law professor would know that.

He went on to say, “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.”

So, that is why swinging Justice Anthony Kennedy pointedly asked, “Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?”

And why Justice Antonin Scalia asked, “Any self purchasing? Anything I — you know if I’m in any market at all, my failure to purchase something in that market subjects me to regulation.”

Or why Chief Justice John Roberts asked, “So can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services? You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?”

Perhaps Justice Samuel Alito’s questions about whether people could be forced to buy burial insurance was a tell that he will vote to uphold the law.

Actually, it sounded like Obama was practicing his post court ruling campaign speech in which he will blame a bunch of unelected people for taking away all the goodies in ObamaCare, which he also pointed out. He claimed 2.5 million young people health care who wouldn’t otherwise have it and tens of thousands of adults with preexisting conditions have health care because of this law and 30 million will gain coverage when the law is fully implemented in 2014.

And why are they having to wait till 2014? Oh yes, those imaginary savings could not be conjured unless you load revenues upfront and backload expenses.

Even Obama admitted that without the individual mandate, the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. “And I think it’s important, and I think the American people understand, and the I think the justices should understand, that in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to ensure that people with preexisting conditions can actually get health care,” he said. “So there’s not only a economic element to this, and a legal element to this, but there’s a human element to this. And I hope that’s not forgotten in this political debate.”

The WSJ editorialists suggested, “Mr. Obama’s remarks suggest he is joining others on the left in warning the Justices that they will pay a political price if they dare to overturn even part of the law. As he runs for re-election, Mr. Obama’s inner community organizer seems to be winning out over the law professor.”

Justice Kennedy also observed that the ObamaCare fundamentally changes the relationship between the government and its citizens:

“But the reason, the reason this is concerning, is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts our tradition, our law, has been that you don’t have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The blind man is walking in front of a car and you do not have a duty to stop him absent some relation between you. And there is some severe moral criticisms of that rule, but that’s generally the rule.

“And here the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.”

Are we citizens or subjects?

Though Obama’s criticism of the court was the banner in the WSJ and rated A17 of The New York Times and 4A of USA Today, there was no mention in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, though it carried a story about the press conference that talked solely about a strain on U.S.-Mexico relations.


8 comments on “President warms up his stump speech against the ‘unelected’ court

  1. I was trying to think of a good analogy to ObamaCare in which Congress could dictate something ridiculous to solve some perceived problem, but could not think of one. It turns out Obama himself came up with one while running against HillaryCare in 2008. Joseph Rago in the WSJ Political Diary reminds us today that Obama said in an interview then:

    “”She mandates that everybody buy health care. She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it. Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.”

  2. Bruce Feher says:

    Chicago THUG politics at it’s best! Sounds like a veiled threat to me…..

  3. That’s precisely what Bill Clinton called Obama, Bruce.


  4. joe castellana says:


  5. Steve says:

    After the Senate “passed” their version of the bill, the house (rather Nancy Pelosi) did not do anything to rectify differences. The Democrats simply and blatantly used their rapidly disappearing majority to vote for what the Senate passed. That action in itself makes me wonder if any lawyers have thought to question the constitutionality of a bill never rectified in both houses of Congress.

    Yes Tom. You and Sherm did and do know your readers. You guys kept that paper alive through some very trying times. By keeping that paper alive you kept its competitor alive too. In fact it is the RJ that kept alive print news in southern NV if you ask me.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    Obama has relegated the Congress to near insignificance, the courts are next. The stupid Democrat Party launched this appalling turn of events and now every member of the Congress, both parties, is scrambling to hold their office but no longer concern themselves with the responsibilities designed by the founders. Harry Reid thought that Obama was a good candidate because he wasn’t too dark and didn’t have the Negro dialect, shallow Harry missed the terrible affects of the issues driving Obama and his backers. That’s what we get for sending shallow Harry back to face real world Chicago style politics, they use him and he obviously doesn’t recognize that.

  7. Vernon Clayson says:

    Shallow Harry (Reid) was on the news yesterday, the nation and the economy are tumbling down and he spoke of his concern about wild horses. It’s true, then, shallow Harry is god-like in his empathy, he knows when every sparrow falls and has similar feelings for wild horses. I jest, of course, he has notions of spending money, tax money, on the nice “horsies” that roam like the deer and antelope, but this money for land and care will not go to strangers. He also wants TSA agents to smile at people as they come and go at air terminals, he’s even going to write a letter to Homeland Defense Secretary, Janet Napolitano, to prompt this action. I guess he wants the smiley Disneyland approach to offset the unnecessary inconvenience of passing through electronic gates, pat downs, etc. While he’s at it, he might suggest that she try to improve her image, that would be her image of being a sweaty nervous PMS afflicted unsmiling housefrau when being questioned by Congressional committees. She should unclench, they aren’t serious, and AG Eric Holder has her back.

  8. […] seem to recall a headline Tuesday proclaiming, “President warms up his stump speech against the ‘unelected’ court.” […]

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