Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Obama Disses the Supreme Court

Ummm... yeah.... No comment.

Barack Obama has quite possibly made an enemy of the very court debating the constitutionality of the bill he has been touting as what amounts to the pivotal point of his administration: healthcare reform. During a news conference, he incorrectly stated that were the court to overturn the bill, it would be unprecedented as it was democratically passed by congress. Anyone who has ever heard of the Marbury v Madison case of 1803 would see right through this as this particular case established judicial review for this very reason. The Supreme Court exists as the final appeals court of the United States and therefore a vast majority of its job is to overturn previous rulings, even if they are by congress. This would by no means be the first law ruled unconstitutional by the court.

His second complaint was that overturning the bill would show a lack of restraint by a court not subject to the influence of public opinion as they are appointed to their positions for life. This is a good thing in all honesty. By not having to worry about reelection or losing their position, the justices are not swayed in their decision making by what the public believes or wants from them. But I digress, what is intriguing about this particular complaint is that it is in regards to the same issue that conservatives have been lamenting in light of Supreme Court fairly stacked with liberals. Obama then went on to say that were the court to find the bill unconstitutional, that the burden would be on their shoulders. However during oral arguments last week, Justice Kennedy pointed out that the burden was not on the court, but on the US government to prove the constitutionality of requiring people to have insurance and not merely a government overreach. 

Democrats are now jumping on Kennedy saying that his view of the matter is not broad enough to recognize the scope of the issue. That is neither here nor there as the outcome of this case will likely come down to the rhetoric used by both sides. Democrats are just afraid because the Solicitor General who argued the issue ( the U.S. government's lawyer for all intents and purposes) did an exceptionally poor job of making his case. 

The point I would like to make is that if you are trying to garner the support of a group, do not insult it. Do not describe their use of power that they were given as overreaching. Do not point out that they are unaccountable for their decisions in terms of elections and public opinions and therefore inclined to act more "recklessly". As they are supposed to judge the case on its constitutional merits this shouldn't have an affect on the judgment, but you never know...

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