Friday, March 19, 2010

Obama's Illegal War

Lawyer and CBS News' Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford questions Obama's war on the Supreme Court:
For the life of me, I just don't get why the White House continues to try to pick a fight with the Supreme Court. . . But after Chief Justice John Roberts made some entirely reasonable remarks yesterday -- and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just had to respond -- it's now getting ridiculous.

Whether the White House has a short-term or long-term strategy or no strategy at all, it's flat-out absurd and ill-advised for the administration to think it should always have the last word. It's like my 6-year-old: "I don't LIKE your idea. I like MY idea."

It wasn't enough that Mr. Obama, for the first time in modern history, took a direct shot at the Supreme Court in his State of the Union address, when he slammed the justices for their recent campaign finance reform decision. Six of them looked on -- including the author of the opinion, key swing vote Anthony Kennedy -- while Democrats jumped up to whoop and holler.

All that, of course, was too much for Justice Samuel Alito, who shook his head and silently mouthed, "not true."

The next day, the White House just couldn't let it rest. It again had to have the last word. It put out a "fact sheet," trying to prove it was Mr. Obama -- not Justice Alito -- who was right.

Now the Chief Justice, speaking yesterday at the University of Alabama Law School, has weighed in. Responding to a question from a clearly insightful Alabama law student, Roberts said he thought the whole scene was "very troubling." . . .

Gibbs should have let this go.

This administration is going to have to be dealing with this Supreme Court for at least three more years, if not more. Its lawyers are going to have to appear before these justices to defend presidential initiatives or federal laws in case after case, big and small.

I'm not suggesting they won't get a fair shake simply because the White House is trying to stick it to the conservative justices. George Bush repeatedly got slapped down by this Court, even though he never lashed out at the justices.

But at some point -- and I'd say that point is now -- the Obama Administration is working against its interests.

They'd do well to remember that on a lot of the issues they care about, the Supreme Court gets to decide. No matter how much they stomp their feet and shout, "I don't LIKE your idea; I like MY idea," the Supreme Court is going to get the last word.
Following the Citizens United campaign finance ruling, President Obama vowed "to work immediately with Congress . . . to develop a forceful response to this decision," specifically seeking "legislation." But Congress can't overturn the judiciary's reading of the Bill of Rights. For a Harvard Law grad who taught Constitutional law, Obama seems strikingly unfamiliar with "the most important opinion in Supreme Court history," Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 177 (1803) ("It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.").

Had Bush started such an ill-advised and extra-Constitutional conflict, progressives would be pushing impeachment.

(via reader Doug J.)


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Conservatives thought the Obama administration was going to be dominated by leftism and bumbling. While those are present, sheer childishness seems to have taken the top spot.

OBloodyHell said...

> The president has long been committed to reducing the undue influence of special interests and their lobbyists over government.

Uh, yeah. I'm sure that will come as interesting news to Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, along with the AFL/CIO and SEIU.

Carl said...

Childish incompetence (via Greenpeace, WWF, unions, etc.) at that.

suek said...

Don't fool's back to the old Alinsky tactics...

Next step will be to pack the court, since they can't get rid of the "unreasonable" judges.

By the way...

I think trouble is danger-close...

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Dear God, I want to wake up and find this was "just a bad dream" like that much-ballyhooed episode of Dallas.

I can't see that man (the one they call "our" president) on the TV any more without losing it: "You lying liar and your lying band of Marxist Machiavellian thugs!!!" I have to turn the TV off or risk a stroke from sky-high blood pressure.

Damn this Administration, and DAMN the boot-licking MSM that promoted him and his "Chicago Way" cronies to an uninformed populace.

Rick Caird said...

There is a very real chance that health care will end up at the Supreme Court. Only a fool would be picking a fight with the Court when it may well need them to "save his Presidency".

Carl said...

Sue: Amnesty is scary, but it would sill take years for them to become citizens eligible to vote.

Rick: You're right, but -- unlike some conservatives -- I'm not sure the legislation is unconstitutional. The Congressional Research Service (at 3) called the Constitutionality of a Federal requirement to purchase health insurance a "challenging question."